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Posts Tagged "nervous system"

MIND Guest Blog

Prions May Develop Drug Resistance: The Implications for Mad Cow, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

The brain of a patient with Creutzfeldt-Jakob shows signs of neurodegeneration and the presence of  large clumps of prion protein (purple). Courtesy of Lary Walker.

Clumps of proteins twisted into aberrant shapes cause the prion diseases that have perplexed biologists for decades. The surprises just keep coming with a new report that the simple clusters of proteins responsible for Mad Cow and other prions diseases may, without help from DNA or RNA, be capable of changing form to escape the [...]

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5-Armed Brittle Stars Always Face Front [Video]

brittle star

How would you walk if you had five arms and no brains? If you’re a brittle star, the answer turns out to be quite well (for an echinoderm)—although it’s a little complicated. The blunt-spined brittle star (Ophiocoma echinata) looks like a claymation creature from an alien horror movie as it moves its disk-like body along [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Octopus Play and Squid Eyeballs—and What They Can Teach Us about Brains

For cannibals, octopuses seem to be surprisingly fun loving. Some have been observed using their funnels to repeatedly blow objects around in their tanks. Others, such as one common octopus named Dorian, have spent a countless minutes passing Lego blocks around among their many arms or towing them back and forth across the surface of [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

New Views into the Octopus’s Bizarre Moves

octopus swim move

We’ve known for centuries that octopuses get around one of two ways: one, by crawling over surfaces with their arms, or, two, swimming with the help of their siphon’s jet. But a new study (pdf) shows us that their movement is not quite so simple—and is far more fascinating. A team of researchers has been [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Even Severed Octopus Arms Have Smart Moves

Octopus arms

The eight wily arms of an octopus can help the animal catch dinner, open a jar and even complete a convincing disguise. But these arms are not entirely under the control of the octopus’s brain. And new research shows just how deep their independence runs—even when they are detached. The octopus’s nervous system is a [...]

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Looking Back on 30 Science Artists in 30 Days


For three years now we have been celebrating science artists here on Symbiartic. Every September we have stepped it up a notch to feature a different science artist each day in our September SciArt Blitz. In case you missed any of them, here is a visual summary of the 2014 SciArt Blitz artists (click on [...]

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The Long Shadow of Fungal Networks


I’ve heard it said that if you removed everything from the forest except for fungi you would still be able to discern outlines of trees and leaves because of the vast fungal networks of pervading everything. I’ve often thought that would make a powerful illustration but never got around to acting on it. So when [...]

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