Brain_Hawk t1_jd5xtiu wrote

That's really interesting. The article and.somethibg else (I forget now) made me presume it was naturally occurring. If it's largely biological how did it get to be part of RNA? Maybe a different molecule started it off?

Interesting those experiments on early dNA did not replicate. Undergrade was a long time ago so last I had heard it was probably all the rage. Of course, ever will we debate what conditions are the right conditions, etc.

Thanks for the informative post.


Brain_Hawk t1_jd5ciwo wrote

I agree that uracil is certainly more interesting didn't finding water, and is much more a building block of life. I think a lot of these headlines are written quite cleverly so that if you read it fast you misreaded, which is what I did, and I thought for a second it was saying RNA was found in an asteroid. Now that would be a groundbreaking discovery

Was still a good read. But so much of science news now is attempts to sensationalize things.


Brain_Hawk t1_jd5alcv wrote

Yes like all good science clickbait, it didn't lie. It merely insinuated

It's a crucial building block of life, but it doesn't carry through this is anything to do with the actual existence of life. It's just a chemical, that's found that a lot of places.


Brain_Hawk t1_jd51bl9 wrote

Uracil is a part of RNA but that far from evidence of life. I feel like the headline is a bit click baity that it's implying more than was found. It's not really evidence of any life related processes, simply a component that is probably necessary for early life as we know it.

Still interesting in that these molecules can develop into more, and it speaks to the probability of simple life forming. A whole back was in a discussion about the probability of intelligent life anywhere in the universe, and an argument we should be totally agnostic because we can't know the probability. Evidence like this suggests to me some of the basic chemical processes necessary for life are probably.common, and other evidence, to the best of my awareness, is suggestive that we can recreate the conditions for form amino acids in a lab.

So it looks like the building blocks of life form readily, which is an argument in favor of life forming fairly often. Of course advanced or complex life will be rarer, but also available evidence (ok mostly out N=1 planet, but many environments) supports the idea that organism are very adaptive which further supports the tendency to develop into more advanced organisms. So complex life may be fairly common.

Anyways neat. But can't help but be a bit miffed at how headlines are always written to implictly exaggerate the findings a bit.


Brain_Hawk t1_jcyzth9 wrote

You did the math wrong. It's not single countries, it's pairs of countries.

So for example, the USA not talking to Cuba. That's one pair

Now over the 193 countries in the United Nations, that makes 18528 pairs, meaning a pair of countries not talking to each other.

So assuming we maintain your estimate of around 25% of countries not talking to each other, we would have something more like 4,632 unique pairs of countries that are no longer speaking.


Brain_Hawk t1_jc7owh4 wrote

Well, there is an emerging field called pharmacogenetics where certain gene characteristics are related to the efficacy or more likely the side effect profile of different medications. There are attempts to bring this into clinical practice, where people can be screened for certain genes which would indicate the potential for more severe side effects for a certain medication, suggesting an alternative should be pursued instead. It's still new, so it's still under development, but it's being done in some research context and will probably be pretty common in about 10 or 15 years

I'll research is difficult and takes a long time and hard work. Very little research helps anybody except for in a long time. But then suddenly it does help, often in dramatic and life-changing ways. But science is hard, and implementation is one of the hardest parts


Brain_Hawk t1_jc58ayp wrote

"Identified signals explained up to 5.01% of disease variance "

I'm not going to read a whole genetics paper. I'm not saying it's bad research, this sort of work is important. But it is often oversold. They identified a candidate set of genes using a large publicly available data set, which often has minimal patient specific information on most disorders. I should have read more of the abstract but I stopped, I'm pretty sure they ran a gwas. Those identify associations but not causes. They're an important start point, but it's a very far lead from identifying. Some genes that are related to is disorder with a relatively small effect size and to building a treatment target that has any widespread application

I'm not stating any objection to what the researchers did, but I have a long standing objection to results like this being massively oversold both in the media and by the scientists themselves. It's very tempting, especially if you get a splash in nature paper. But it builds a lot of false hope, and it's unlikely that any of these candidate genes will see clinical trials and the next 10 years if ever

The most positive outcome for these papers, In my not too humble opinion , is that the identify potential targets for future more directed studies, they can examine the association with those specific genes with that disorder in detail

Edit: Happy the abstract says that too, more targeted studies are needed to confirm and better understand these associations


Brain_Hawk t1_jc4ikrt wrote

I'm not calling it worthless, because these gene association studies are important, but it's a long way from paving the way to new treatments.

Most genetic associations are very weak and do not point to pathways of treatment. If they did we would be doing better with a lot of disorders.

News wants flashy headlines and dramatic progress. Real science is hard and painstaking grinding work.

But it gets there eventually.


Brain_Hawk t1_jbfrv88 wrote

Aside from the other answers better than I could say, it's cheap abd plentiful!

MRI used liquid helium for supercooling. It's very expensive. Some helium loss is natural and replacement is an ongoing expense.

Likewise if you need to turn thr magnet off you need to dump the helium (MRI magnet is always on), and replacement is $15-25,000.

If water works, it's basically or nearly free! This is a very non trivial concern for.most uses. Obviously for super cooling you need something more.


Brain_Hawk t1_j9q05ww wrote

Maybe. It's a hypothesis, and hypotheses are made to be tested :)

Psychedelics tend to work on specific serotinergic systems which are also related maybe to mood and emotional regulation, so the density, distribution, and prevalence of those receptors in different brai regions may change both the experience itself, and the effects that experience has afterwords.

A but if a cause and effect question: is it that the kore intense experience is beneficial, or does the intense experience and yhe benefit come from the same u derlying causes? (I.e. they are correlated, not causative).


Brain_Hawk t1_j7hw0ee wrote

You don't have to dose placebo. You tell the participants there are either two or four conditions in a case like this. Most likely you've reveal the full design, that they will either receive a placebo or one of three doses of the drug. After that the participant and the researchers are blind as to what condition each participant is in. Until after the analysis is done.

You are not ethically allowed to lie to people and tell them they will receive medication when they might receive a placebo. They have to be aware that the possibility of placebo is there.


Brain_Hawk t1_j6lju24 wrote

There is a huge tendency to compare things to how dirty a toilet seat is, but your average toilet seat is pretty clean. We don't generally poop on them, if we do pay on them pee is pretty sterile anyway, and for the most part people tend to clean their toilets fairly often. When's the last time you disinfected your keyboard? Some of you will say yesterday, but some of you will say never. I might also say never.

There's some Lysol wipes right next to me but I'm too busy right now



Brain_Hawk t1_j5qpisc wrote

The study appears to have been done in cultures (??) As opposed to humans. The abstract is incredibly atrociously lacking even basic details of what or how it was studies, and of course PNAS is paywalled and I can't open on my phone.

So important sure, but not ipso facto evidence that this is happening at any level of concern within the human population. The media of course will hupe it as a major problem of drastic social concern anyways.

Reminds me, a couple years ago, a Twitter account made the rounds called "in mice" which just retreated sensationalist news headlines with the words "in mice" when that is where the sensatiknal sounding effect was found. Mouse research does not always translate to humans.

Good research, I assume but can't read directly, but something that leads to follow up work determining if this is true I people, not evidence on its own.


Brain_Hawk t1_j1thr3n wrote

A full eye transplant would require detaching the retinal nerve and grafting it on to someone else, which is not currently a feasible form of technology. If we could perform those kind of nerve graphs, we could repair damaged spines and restore people who are paralyzed from spine severing. To the best of my knowledge this is still generally impossible.

The optic nerve carries information from different parts of the retina to the brain in a very specific way. This means essentially we would have to be able to one-to-one remap and reconnect nerves at the level of single axons, extremely microscopic it involving tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of specific connections. It's not as simple as taking one nerve and then smashing it to another and hope they all link up. If we could get random events to link up together, the person receiving the eye transport plan would essentially receive White Noise Vision to their brain, with everything all mixed up and wrong.

We can currently do cornea transplants, and fun side bar, some recent advancement in transplanting retinal cells and restoring Vision when people have damage to the retina

Personally I believe the widespread use of bionic style and implants, such as a robotic eye, will never become a big thing because the biology will outpace the engineering. So at least from a recovery of function perspective I don't think it'll take off. It's always possible that doesn't the form of human enhancement, for example producing biotic eyes that have different kinds of vision. But I think the biology will be a lot faster


Brain_Hawk t1_j0mcv2y wrote

I think it would be virtually impossible to actually give somebody prolonged aphasia. The effects of brain stimulation are fairly subtle. And the case is something like stroke, it can induce some neuroplasticity which can Aid in healing. Likewise, over many treatment sessions it can reduce people's depression by modulating some brain activity. But it's generally not considered to be feasible to induce what essentially amounts to a lesion in anything other than a very transitory Way by measuring functional changes while the rtms is actually on. As in, you have a 4-second pulse and you can see how disrupting activity during that time affects Behavior


Brain_Hawk t1_j0mcn84 wrote

There are some prolonged effects, this is why it works as a treatment for things like depression. But those effects are not dramatic. It takes many sessions of r TMS to engage in any kind of substantial brain modulation that lasts for more than an hour or less, and the case like something with Broca's area which is a very well entrenched functional area of the brain, if one was to perform for example a single prolonged rtms treatment session to reduce activity in that region, the effects would be at best extremely subtle. That would think most likely not really able to produce any significant deficit. Because the effect of a session of rTMS and modulating the brain more long term is fairly minimal

As in the video linked above, when you actually fire the rtms you cause some destruction or noise in the underlying cortex, which can be used as an experimental method to see how different parts of the brain are involved in different tasks. For example, I did some work during my PhD where we used our TMS to disrupt memory formation by interrupting activity in the prefrontal cortex. This is different than rTMS used as a treatment intervention, we call this the perturb and measure approach


Brain_Hawk t1_j0jwbkj wrote

In theory kinda maybe, but only while the tms was on, and even then, we have ventrolateralnprefronral cortical protocols and I have never heard of aphasia as a side effect.

The thing is, the 'disruptive' effects of rtms only last for the period of stimulation which is usually no more than 2 to 4 seconds. So maybe if you got exactly on brocade area and hit it with enough tms you could cause some speech arrest or struggle for a couple seconds. But even then, I have not heard of it being done or this as a possible concern with ventrolateral target sites (which are admittedly rare because they are painful), so I'm a bit skeptical it works So easily.

But... maybe, very briefly. If I was done just right.