sciencedaily.com – A recent study demonstrates that exercise performed immediately after practicing a new motor skill improves its long-term retention. More specifically, the research shows, for the first time, that as little as a single fifteen-minute bout of cardiovascular exercise increases brain connectivity and efficiency. It's a discovery that could, in principle, accelerate recovery of motor skills in patients who have suffered a stroke or who face mobility problems following an injury.
Source: Fabien Dal Maso, Bennet Desormeau, Marie-Hélène Boudrias, Marc Roig. Acute cardiovascular exercise promotes functional changes in cortico-motor networks during the early stages of motor memory consolidation. NeuroImage, 2018.
theguardian.com – Normally antisocial sea creature becomes friendly and tactile after being given the drug, scientists say
Source: Eric Edsinger, Gül Dölen. A Conserved Role for Serotonergic Neurotransmission in Mediating Social Behavior in Octopus. Current Biology, 2018.
zmescience.com – Hey, grandpa!
Source: Ilya Bobrovskiy, et al. Ancient steroids establish the Ediacaran fossil Dickinsonia as one of the earliest animals. Science, 2018.
cbc.ca – Genetic analysis has helped to identify three major ivory cartels operating out of Africa responsible for 70 per cent of the $4-billion US global ivory trade.
Source: Samuel K. Wasser, et al. Combating transnational organized crime by linking multiple large ivory seizures to the same dealer. Science Advances, 2018.
sciencedaily.com – Monkeys who learned how to gamble have helped researchers pinpoint an area of the brain key to one's willingness to make risky decisions.
Source: Xiaomo Chen, Veit Stuphorn. Inactivation of Medial Frontal Cortex Changes Risk Preference. Current Biology, 2018.
theguardian.com – Researchers say that when they swept away the senescent brain cells in mice, the outwards symptoms of their dementia vanished
Source: Tyler J. Bussian, et al. Clearance of senescent glial cells prevents tau-dependent pathology and cognitive decline. Nature, 2018.
the-scientist.com – With a built-in supply of a powerful cocaine-chomping enzyme, the transplant might also curb addiction.
Source: Yuanyuan Li, et al. Genome-edited skin epidermal stem cells protect mice from cocaine-seeking behaviour and cocaine overdose. Nature Biomedical Engineering, 2018.
sciencenews.org – Camp customs override selfishness and generosity when foragers divvy up food, a study of East Africa’s Hazda hunter-gatherers shows.
Source: Kristopher M. Smith, Tomás Larroucau, Ibrahim A. Mabulla, Coren L. Apicella. Hunter-Gatherers Maintain Assortativity in Cooperation despite High Levels of Residential Change and Mixing. Current Biology, 2018.
sciencedaily.com – Scientists know that upward currents of warm air assist birds in flight. To understand how birds find and navigate these thermal plumes, researchers used reinforcement learning to train gliders to autonomously navigate atmospheric thermals. The research highlights the role of vertical wind accelerations and roll-wise torques as viable biological cues for soaring birds. The findings also provide a navigational strategy that directly applies to the development of UAVs.
Source: Gautam Reddy, Jerome Wong-Ng, Antonio Celani, Terrence J. Sejnowski, Massimo Vergassola. Glider soaring via reinforcement learning in the field. Nature, 2018.
the-scientist.com – A bioinspired robot helps researchers study insect flight.
Source: Matěj Karásek, Florian T. Muijres, Christophe De Wagter, Bart D. W. Remes, Guido C. H. E. de Croon. A tailless aerial robotic flapper reveals that flies use torque coupling in rapid banked turns. Science, 2018.
mashable.com – The 73,000 year old etching was found in a South African cave.
Source: Christopher S. Henshilwood, et al. An abstract drawing from the 73,000-year-old levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Nature, 2018.