neuroscience. sense of smell. intutition.

from the ceul­luar scale: cel­lu­lar level of neu­ro­science for every­one a study intu­ition or sense of smell

…when you can just ‘tell some­thing is wrong’ in a sit­u­a­tion and decide to leave, and later found out that some­thing bad hap­pened later that evening. These sorts of sto­ries are often used as evi­dence that peo­ple have psy­chic pow­ers of some kind, and are equally often dis­missed as just a coincidence.

But another pos­si­bil­ity is that humans com­mu­ni­cate through scents more than we real­ize. Maybe you could actu­ally ‘smell some­thing is wrong’ rather than super­nat­u­rally ‘tell some­thing is wrong’ in the above hypo­thet­i­cal situation.

schizophrenia. delusions. auto-​immune disruption.

from sci­en­tific amer­i­can an arti­cle sci­cu­ri­ous guest writer! sleight of hand, sleight of mind: illu­sions, delu­sions and the immune system

…if some peo­ple with schiz­o­phre­nia have issues with cog­ni­tive sense of self, could they also have a prob­lem with the immune sense of “self”? It turns out they can. Autoim­mune dis­rup­tions in patients with schiz­o­phre­nia were first reported in 1937. Autoim­mu­nity hap­pens when the immune sys­tem fails to dis­crim­i­nate self from other and mis­tak­enly “attacks” the self. When we think of autoim­mune dis­or­ders, we usu­ally think of dis­eases like lupus, but there is evi­dence that autoim­mune dis­or­ders can also cause delu­sions, the bizarre and fixed false beliefs that char­ac­ter­ize schiz­o­phre­nia. For exam­ple, Morvan’s syn­drome , in which patients mount an immune response to their own neu­ro­trans­mit­ter recep­tors, can also suf­fer from delu­sions. One patient with Morvan’s devel­oped para­noid ideas about the med­ical team treat­ing him, his fam­ily mem­bers and the hos­pi­tal where he was being treated, believ­ing falsely that they were try­ing to involve him in a drug smug­gling ring. This patient was treated with plasma exchange, a blood purifi­ca­tion pro­ce­dure in which his blood cells were sep­a­rated from the plasma and the cells retuned to his cir­cu­la­tion diluted with fresh plasma. Plasma exchange removed the autoan­ti­bod­ies from his blood, allow­ing his neu­ro­trans­mit­ter recep­tors to return, and his delu­sions resolved imme­di­ately and permanently.

In another case of Morvan’s:

…the patient reported redu­plica­tive paramne­sia; he firmly believed that his home had been copied by a stranger and that the replica existed 40 miles away. Every detail of the replica includ­ing orna­ments and per­sonal effects had been copied exactly. He even stated that his wife had vis­ited the replica. This time treat­ment with immunoglob­u­lin caused the delu­sion to resolve. Immunoglob­u­lin is a spe­cific anti­body derived from blood donors. We do not know the defin­i­tive mech­a­nism of immunoglob­u­lin treat­ment but it seems to encour­age the removal of autoan­ti­bod­ies by bind­ing to them and it may also have anti-​inflammatory effects involv­ing his­t­a­mine. Again, calm­ing the immune response reduced the delusion.

discovery. antarctic. subglacial lakes. ecology.

from nature.com blogs a story about an
antarc­tic lake mis­sion reports his­toric breakthrough

The more than 300 lakes dis­cov­ered in the past cou­ple of decades beneath the mighty Antarc­tic ice sheet have been sealed from the out­side world for prob­a­bly sev­eral mil­lion years. Today, a team of US Antarc­tic researchers proudly announced they have accessed one of the last unex­plored fron­tiers on Earth.

At 05.00 a.m. local time, the WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Sub­glacial Access Research Drilling) field team hit the shal­low waters of Lake Whillans, a small sub­glacial lake beneath 800-​metre-​thick ice at the mar­gin of the West Antarctica’s ice sheet.

The his­toric break­through has been long in the mak­ing. The WISSARD project has been planned for more than a decade and required three and a half years of intense preparation.

discovery. arctic archaeology. pleistocene. bison.


from fron­tier sci­en­tists a story about bison bob big discovery

As she scraped cold dirt from the remains of an extinct bison, Pam Groves wrin­kled her nose at a rotten-​egg smell waft­ing from gris­tle that still clung to the animal’s bones. She lifted her head to scan the hori­zon, wary of bears that might be attracted to the flesh of a crea­ture that gasped its last breath 40,000 years ago.

In the type of dis­cov­ery they have dreamed about for years, Groves and Dan Mann, both researchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Alaska Fair­banks, in sum­mer 2012 found in the thaw­ing bank of a north­ern river almost the entire skele­ton of a steppe bison that died dur­ing the last ice age.

feminism. violence again women. rape.

from the young fem­i­nist wire an arti­cle rape in india, rape ever­where: the strug­gle for gen­der equal­ity is uni­ver­sal by ghadeer malek

We, fem­i­nists and women’s rights activists from across the world, are dis­tressed and out­raged at the death of a 23 year old Indian woman as a result of the bru­tal gang-​rape she endured at the hands of six men on a New Delhi bus on Decem­ber 16th. The gang-​rape, the young woman’s immense brav­ery and her untimely death have gal­va­nized India‘s pop­u­la­tion into demand­ing safer spaces and effec­tive leg­isla­tive mea­sures. We have wit­nessed a frank and much-​needed dis­cus­sion on misog­yny, patri­archy, rape and sex­ual vio­lence across news­pa­pers, social-​media, and other forums. How­ever, some of these dis­cus­sions have been rid­dled with a dis­taste­ful neo­colo­nial nar­ra­tive of rape and sex­ual vio­lence as reflec­tive of ‘back­ward’ South­ern coun­tries, rather than a patri­ar­chal epi­demic that affects women the world over!

UN inter­na­tional day for the elim­i­na­tion of vio­lence against women: facts and figures

moral revolution. ethics. values.

sharon giles


moral rev­o­lu­tion! cre­at­ing new val­ues, under­min­ing oppres­sion, and con­nect­ing across difference

a sum­mary of sarah lucia hoagland’s Les­bian Ethics and other sundry quo­ta­tions, com­piled by Kriti Sharma at free­dom is free

Before we will be capa­ble of resist­ing and under­min­ing oppres­sion, we must be able to work together in ways that do not nour­ish think­ing which makes oppres­sion cred­i­ble. This is not a a ‘per­sonal,’ ‘pri­vate’ mat­ter. I believe that with­out cer­tain changes in the val­ues we affirm through our inter­ac­tions, there can be no social change which will under­mine oppres­sion. Male-​led rev­o­lu­tions — eco­nomic and mil­i­tary and intel­lec­tual — have not changed the essen­tial ominance/​subordination rela­tion­ship at the heart of oppres­sion. I do not believe oppres­sion is going to be lifted from us…If oppres­sion is going to end, we must move out of it. And in part that means becom­ing beings who are no longer in the habit of enact­ing oppres­sive val­ues (val­ues which con­tribute either to the oppres­sion of our­selves or others).”

quote from maria lugones:

Women who are per­ceived arro­gantly can per­ceive other women arro­gantly in turn. To what extent those women respon­si­ble for their arro­gant per­cep­tions of other women is cer­tainly open to ques­tion, but I do not have any doubt that many women have been taught to abuse women in this par­tic­u­lar way. I am not inter­ested in assign­ing respon­si­bil­ity. I am inter­ested in under­stand­ing the phe­nom­e­non so as to under­stand a lov­ing way out of it.”

on sac­ri­fice: Con­tinue read­ing