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Latest Sense Stories

Crocodiles And Alligators Are Actually Sensitive Creatures
2012-11-08 14:12:17

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Crocodiles and alligators are well-known for being cold-blooded and having thick skin, but new research from a pair of Vanderbilt University scientists has shown that the ancient reptiles can be quite sensitive. More specifically, the scientists demonstrated that these reptilian predators have small pigmented domes that dot their skin-- conveying a sense of touch is even more responsive than that of humans, according to the pair´s...

Researchers Train Humans To Sense Like Rats
2012-11-06 12:01:01

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online By moving their facial whiskers back and forth about eight times a second to locate objects in their environment, rats use a sense that humans don´t: whisking. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, however, have set out to learn whether humans could acquire this sense with practice, and if so, what could understanding the process of adaptation tell us about our normal senses? To investigate this...

Brain Can Compensate For Minimal Visual Input
2012-11-02 08:57:31

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Consciousness and perception have long been understood as being interlinked. But our perceptions may be related less to our sense of sight than was previously understood. A new study by researchers at the University of Virginia shows that vision may be less important to our ability to see than is the brain´s ability to process the individual points of light we encounter into more complex images. Their study of the fruit...

Lab Rats Can Fine-tune Their Sense Of Smell
2012-10-31 11:23:10

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study by University of Chicago researchers showed that some animals are able to focus their sense of smell in much the same way that humans can focus their vision. According to the study that was published in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers found that laboratory rats were able to adjust their sense of smell by altering their sniffing, which brought scents to receptors in different parts of their...

Neurons And The Sense Of Touch
2012-10-26 18:26:58

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The sense of touch is perhaps the most basic, most elementary of the senses. It´s how many living things learn, move and explore. Yet, according to W. Daniel Tracey, PhD, there´s still plenty left to be discovered when it comes to the sense of touch. “On a molecular level, touch is the most poorly understood of the senses,” said Dr. Tracey who is an associate professor of anesthesiology at Duke University...

Spatial Perception Influenced By Fear
2012-10-22 12:48:06

Read my exclusive interview with Dr. Matthew Longo about his research. Jedidiah Becker for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online One of the many mind-bending lessons that neuroscience has taught us in recent years is that our brain often ℠fudges´ the picture of reality that it gives us. For a very simple at-home demonstration of this cognitive trickery, stand in front of a mirror and alternate back and forth between looking at your left eye, then your right eye. No matter...

Ability To Taste Linked To Better Respiratory Health
2012-10-09 11:05:30

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A person's ability to taste certain bitter flavors might just be directly related to their ability to fight off upper respiratory tract infections, especially chronic sinus infections, a new study led by the University of Pennsylvania finds. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, includes researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the Monell Chemical Senses Center, and...

2012-10-08 13:59:56

A University of Michigan biophysical chemist and his colleagues have discovered the smallest and fastest-known molecular switches made of RNA, the chemical cousin of DNA. The researchers say these rare, fleeting structures are prime targets for the development of new antiviral and antibiotic drugs. Once believed to merely store and relay genetic information, RNA is now known to be a cellular Swiss Army knife of sorts, performing a wide variety of tasks and morphing into myriad shapes....

2012-09-28 12:58:27

Our brains are better at hearing new and approaching sounds than detecting when a sound disappears, according to a study published today funded by the Wellcome Trust. The findings could explain why parents often fail to notice the sudden quiet from the playroom that usually accompanies the onset of mischief. Hearing plays an important role as an early warning system to rapidly direct our attention to new events. Indeed we often rely on sounds to alert us to things that are happening around...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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