Our Science Team is back with two tidbits from the world of science!
Avian influenza jumps species barrier into seals
In September of 2011 163 harbor seals were found washed up on the shores of New England. Autopsy results now show that the H3N8 strain of avian influenza was the culprit. The findings suggest a recent “jump” made by the virus from birds into seals. This isn’t unusual for influenzae, the virus jumps between human and bird or porcine reservoirs regularly, but precisely how the virus accomplishes this is not fully understood. Perhaps these findings may shed some light on how the virus accomplishes infecting new species.
Brain scans of lucid dreamers reveal place of meta-consciousness
Psychologists and neuroscientists alike have asked for years what it is to be conscious and where consciousness emanates from in the brain. That is, they have asked what part of the brain allows for self reflection, perception, and awareness. A new study uses magnetic resonance tomography to monitor the brain activity of lucid dreamers, people who become aware they are dreaming while sleeping, to pinpoint the location of consciousness. They found the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the frontopolar regions and the precuneus are active when lucid dreaming is attained.