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Scientists can now “decode” people’s thoughts without even touching their heads, The Scientist reported. Past mind-reading techniques relied on implanting electrodes deep in peoples’ brains. The new method, described in a report posted 29 Sept. to the preprint database bioRxiv, instead relies on a noninvasive brain scanning technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI
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Teeny tiny jumping spiders, with their wondrous eyes, seem to be able to do something we’d only ever seen before in vertebrates: distinguishing between animate and inanimate objects. In a 2021 test, wild jumping spiders (Menemerus semilimbatus) behaved differently when presented with simulated objects of both kinds, in ways that indicated an ability to discern
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When lightning flashes above, plants on the ground may respond in kind. Scientists have long been aware that plants and trees can emit small, visible electric discharges from the tips of their leaves when the plants are trapped beneath the electrical fields generated by thunderstorms high overhead. These discharges, known as coronas, are sometimes visible
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Strange libraries of supplementary genes nicknamed “Borg” DNA appear to supercharge the microbes that possess them, giving them an uncanny ability to metabolize materials in their environment faster than their competitors. By learning more about the way organisms use these unusual extrachromosomal packets of information, researchers are hoping to find new ways of engineering life
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Decades of reinforcing neural connections can make the adult brain stubbornly resistant to rapid changes. Should our brain’s structure trap us in cycles of dark moods and thoughts, disorders like chronic depression can be extremely hard to shake. According to new research, some patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) can have their brains ‘rewired’ within
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The ocean covers most of our planet’s surface, accounts for the majority of our oxygen production, and provides a significant amount of resources by way of food, minerals, and energy. Yet our oceans are shockingly underrepresented when it comes to environmental conventions on an international scale. The deep blue yonder is often reduced to footnotes