neurosciencestuff:

A long childhood feeds the hungry human brain
A five-year old’s brain is an energy monster. It uses twice as much glucose (the energy that fuels the brain) as that of a full-grown adult, a new study led by Northwestern University anthropologists has found.
The study helps to solve the long-standing mystery of why human children grow so slowly compared with our closest animal relatives.
It shows that energy funneled to the brain dominates the human body’s metabolism early in life and is likely the reason why humans grow at a pace more typical of a reptile than a mammal during childhood.
Results of the study will be published the week of Aug. 25 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Our findings suggest that our bodies can’t afford to grow faster during the toddler and childhood years because a huge quantity of resources is required to fuel the developing human brain," said Christopher Kuzawa, first author of the study and a professor of anthropology at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "As humans we have so much to learn, and that learning requires a complex and energy-hungry brain."
Kuzawa also is a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern.
The study is the first to pool existing PET and MRI brain scan data — which measure glucose uptake and brain volume, respectively — to show that the ages when the brain gobbles the most resources are also the ages when body growth is slowest. At 4 years of age, when this “brain drain” is at its peak and body growth slows to its minimum, the brain burns through resources at a rate equivalent to 66 percent of what the entire body uses at rest.
The findings support a long-standing hypothesis in anthropology that children grow so slowly, and are dependent for so long, because the human body needs to shunt a huge fraction of its resources to the brain during childhood, leaving little to be devoted to body growth. It also helps explain some common observations that many parents may have.
"After a certain age it becomes difficult to guess a toddler or young child’s age by their size," Kuzawa said. "Instead you have to listen to their speech and watch their behavior. Our study suggests that this is no accident. Body growth grinds nearly to a halt at the ages when brain development is happening at a lightning pace, because the brain is sapping up the available resources."
It was previously believed that the brain’s resource burden on the body was largest at birth, when the size of the brain relative to the body is greatest. The researchers found instead that the brain maxes out its glucose use at age 5. At age 4 the brain consumes glucose at a rate comparable to 66 percent of the body’s resting metabolic rate (or more than 40 percent of the body’s total energy expenditure).
"The mid-childhood peak in brain costs has to do with the fact that synapses, connections in the brain, max out at this age, when we learn so many of the things we need to know to be successful humans," Kuzawa said.
"At its peak in childhood, the brain burns through two-thirds of the calories the entire body uses at rest, much more than other primate species," said William Leonard, co-author of the study. "To compensate for these heavy energy demands of our big brains, children grow more slowly and are less physically active during this age range. Our findings strongly suggest that humans evolved to grow slowly during this time in order to free up fuel for our expensive, busy childhood brains."

neurosciencestuff:

A long childhood feeds the hungry human brain

A five-year old’s brain is an energy monster. It uses twice as much glucose (the energy that fuels the brain) as that of a full-grown adult, a new study led by Northwestern University anthropologists has found.

The study helps to solve the long-standing mystery of why human children grow so slowly compared with our closest animal relatives.

It shows that energy funneled to the brain dominates the human body’s metabolism early in life and is likely the reason why humans grow at a pace more typical of a reptile than a mammal during childhood.

Results of the study will be published the week of Aug. 25 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Our findings suggest that our bodies can’t afford to grow faster during the toddler and childhood years because a huge quantity of resources is required to fuel the developing human brain," said Christopher Kuzawa, first author of the study and a professor of anthropology at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "As humans we have so much to learn, and that learning requires a complex and energy-hungry brain."

Kuzawa also is a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern.

The study is the first to pool existing PET and MRI brain scan data — which measure glucose uptake and brain volume, respectively — to show that the ages when the brain gobbles the most resources are also the ages when body growth is slowest. At 4 years of age, when this “brain drain” is at its peak and body growth slows to its minimum, the brain burns through resources at a rate equivalent to 66 percent of what the entire body uses at rest.

The findings support a long-standing hypothesis in anthropology that children grow so slowly, and are dependent for so long, because the human body needs to shunt a huge fraction of its resources to the brain during childhood, leaving little to be devoted to body growth. It also helps explain some common observations that many parents may have.

"After a certain age it becomes difficult to guess a toddler or young child’s age by their size," Kuzawa said. "Instead you have to listen to their speech and watch their behavior. Our study suggests that this is no accident. Body growth grinds nearly to a halt at the ages when brain development is happening at a lightning pace, because the brain is sapping up the available resources."

It was previously believed that the brain’s resource burden on the body was largest at birth, when the size of the brain relative to the body is greatest. The researchers found instead that the brain maxes out its glucose use at age 5. At age 4 the brain consumes glucose at a rate comparable to 66 percent of the body’s resting metabolic rate (or more than 40 percent of the body’s total energy expenditure).

"The mid-childhood peak in brain costs has to do with the fact that synapses, connections in the brain, max out at this age, when we learn so many of the things we need to know to be successful humans," Kuzawa said.

"At its peak in childhood, the brain burns through two-thirds of the calories the entire body uses at rest, much more than other primate species," said William Leonard, co-author of the study. "To compensate for these heavy energy demands of our big brains, children grow more slowly and are less physically active during this age range. Our findings strongly suggest that humans evolved to grow slowly during this time in order to free up fuel for our expensive, busy childhood brains."

jtotheizzoe:

teded:

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout.
From the TED-Ed lesson How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins
Animation by Sharon Colman Graham

Shred that guitar, toot that horn, rattle those keys… it’s good fer yer neurons!

jtotheizzoe:

teded:

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout.

From the TED-Ed lesson How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins

Animation by Sharon Colman Graham

Shred that guitar, toot that horn, rattle those keys… it’s good fer yer neurons!

Yum.
artofcheese:

Caprese Salad. 
Photo by: Jacquelyn Portolese Photography

Yum.

artofcheese:

Caprese Salad. 

Photo by: Jacquelyn Portolese Photography

jtotheizzoe:

NEW VIDEO! It’s time for…

Summertime Science!!

This week I ventured out into the scorching heat of Austin in July to look at why we sweat, why we get sunburned, and why our fingers get all wrinkled when we go swimming. I had to go swimming and get a watermelon sno-cone for this video… the sacrifices I make for my videos, eh?

I would also like to note that the thumbnail is in no way photoshopped.

An earlier version of this video had an error in it, so I re-uploaded it. That means you’ll have to watch it again and reblog it again and love it again :)

A short film about gender roles, Trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo.

(by Kilian Schönberger)

Tags: photography

Yummy science :)

scienceandfood:

DIY Kitchen Science: Crumbalicious Apple Pie
This duo of student scientists aimed to create a pie with the crunchiest apple filling by experimenting with four different types of apples: Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, and Fuji. To determine which apples had the greatest resistance to applied forces (and thus remained crunchiest), they measured both the force required to cut through each kind of apple and the “elastic modulus”, which is the amount of deformation caused by a given force. Read more…
Photo Courtesy: Patrick Tran

Yummy science :)

scienceandfood:

DIY Kitchen Science: Crumbalicious Apple Pie

This duo of student scientists aimed to create a pie with the crunchiest apple filling by experimenting with four different types of apples: Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, and Fuji. To determine which apples had the greatest resistance to applied forces (and thus remained crunchiest), they measured both the force required to cut through each kind of apple and the “elastic modulus”, which is the amount of deformation caused by a given force. Read more…

Photo Courtesy: Patrick Tran

Apparently when you eat cheese, you use all 23 senses. No wonder I love it so much!!!

Apparently when you eat cheese, you use all 23 senses. No wonder I love it so much!!!

(Source: jtotheizzoe)

Attention, science enthusiasts! If you’re looking for new science blogs to follow - here’s an excellent list: Part 1 Part 2
That amazing list was put together by the awesome Shychemist, check out his blog, help him expand the list!

Attention, science enthusiasts! If you’re looking for new science blogs to follow - here’s an excellent list: Part 1 Part 2

That amazing list was put together by the awesome Shychemist, check out his blog, help him expand the list!

(Source: spaceplasma, via science-junkie)

Tags: science blogs

A “Drinkable Book” Delivers Clean Water In A New Form
The pages of The Drinkable Book are made with silver nanoparticle-coated paper that filters 99.9% of bacteria, such as cholera, E. coli and typhoid from contaminated water. Invented by Carnegie Mellon researcher Dr. Theresa Dankovich, the paper costs pennies to produce per page. When someone receives the book, they tear out a filter, place it in the filter box that encases the book, and pour water through.
Read More>

A “Drinkable Book” Delivers Clean Water In A New Form

The pages of The Drinkable Book are made with silver nanoparticle-coated paper that filters 99.9% of bacteria, such as cholera, E. coli and typhoid from contaminated water. Invented by Carnegie Mellon researcher Dr. Theresa Dankovich, the paper costs pennies to produce per page. When someone receives the book, they tear out a filter, place it in the filter box that encases the book, and pour water through.

Read More>

(via fastcompany)