Neuroscientists thought memories were stored in the synapses connecting the brain’s neurons but new research suggests they may reside in the neurons themselves. If supported, the work could have major implications for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Along with new findings in gray matter, a new telescopic array in New Mexico has found what might be traces of failed Milky Ways: faint, incredibly diffuse galaxies hidden in the Coma galaxy cluster. Astronomers say that the “galactic ghosts” offer a good opportunity to study dark matter, which must be holding the galaxies together.
Another kind of “dark matter,” dark-colored fur, feathers or flowers may protect plants and animals living in equatorial regions from dangerous UV rays. Biologists had previously noticed the trend toward dark coloring on birds and mammals in warmer climes, and now flowers have given them a hint as to why.
Also in sultry locales, a broad study of the world’s languages revealed that tonal tongues like Mandarin Chinese and Cherokee, which use different pitches to give words new meanings, develop more frequently in humid regions. The effect rings true for opera singers, who have long known humidifiers help keep them in tune.
Also in April’s Advances:
- New auto safety features foreshadow autonomous cars.
- Why does scratching an itch make it itchier?
- The International Space Station gets an espresso maker built for microgravity conditions.
- Pillows, bedding and tossing and turning all influence what you inhale while fast asleep.
- The Large Hadron Collider restarts after a two-year shutdown and will crash protons together at the highest energies ever achieved by an accelerator.
- In news from around the world: mysterious rumbles across Italy are finally explained; a new dark-matter detector opens; a plan to save the last five northern white rhinos; and more.