MI weekly selection #457
Brainwave data offers clues on moment of death
Data captured at the time of death of an 87-year-old epilepsy patient indicated that the human brain may be designed to coordinate the transition to death, activating brainwaves most commonly associated with memory flashbacks. “[A]lthough our loved ones have their eyes closed and are ready to leave us to rest, their brains may be replaying some of the nicest moments they experienced in their lives,” said study author Dr. Ajmal Zemmar.
Cosmic radio bursts traced to elder stars
A repeating fast radio burst observed for several months last year has been identified as a globular cluster of stars from a galaxy 12 million light-years away. Researchers used a network of 11 telescopes across two continents to pinpoint the origin of the collection of long-established stars.
Magnetic state of matter uncovered after 60 years
Nearly 60 years after scientists theorized its existence, an exotic magnetic state of matter known as an antiferromagnetic excitonic insulator has been discovered. The study details how researchers were able to identify the new state of matter using high temperatures and X-ray technology.
Underwater volcano eruption makes history
The recent eruption of an underwater volcano in the Tonga region broke two records after the volcanic plume reached heights 2.5 times higher than any eruption previously captured on satellite, said scientist Kristopher Bedka of NASA’s Langley Research Center. Also, the eruption produced nearly 590,000 lightning strikes over three days.
Gut molecule tied to changes in mouse brains
Elevated levels of the gut molecule 4-ethylphenol, or 4EP, in mice have been linked to disruptions in patterns of brain connectivity and anxiety-like behavior, suggesting communication between the gut and brain could impact development. “This is one of the first — maybe, arguably, the first — demonstrations of a specific microbe molecule that has such a profound impact on a complex behavior,” said Sarkis Mazmanian, lead researcher of the study detailed in Nature.