Mind games: what magic reveals about how our brains work

The art of magic offers a fascinating insight into the psychology of reality and perceptionThe magician picks up a coin, conceals it in his hand and, after a magical gesture, it mysteriously disappears, only to reappear from behind your ear. As you watch this performance, you fully understand that objects cannot simply materialise from thin air, yet this is exactly what you have just experienced. Conjuring is one of the oldest forms of entertainment and throughout history, tricksters have amazed audiences by performing illusions of the impossible.The art of magic has never lost its appeal, and even in our modern lives, which are dominated by science and technology, we are still captivated by experiencing things we believe to be impossible. This universal appeal can be traced back to a deep-rooted psychological drive to explore things we do not understand. Indeed, from an early age, infants are captivated by events that confound their understanding of the world, and the same is true for adults. Most people simply think of magic as just another form of entertainment, but the ancient art of conjuring is now helping scientists uncover some of the mysteries of the human mind.Continue reading...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Magic Life and style Psychology Science Health & wellbeing Source Type: news

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Authors: Ma Y, Han J, Li S, Zhang A, Cao W, Sun X Abstract Purpose: To evaluate platelet parameters in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients and to explore the association between platelet parameters and POAG severity. Methods: A total of 402 consecutive POAG patients and 408 healthy control subjects from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Eye and ENT Hospital, Fudan University, were consecutively recruited between January 2016 and October 2018. Detailed ophthalmological and systematic examinations were performed. Blood samples for platelet parameters, including platelet count (PLT), plat...
Source: Journal of Ophthalmology - Category: Opthalmology Tags: J Ophthalmol Source Type: research
Authors: Rateb M, Abdel-Radi M, Eldaly Z, Elmohamady MN, Noor El Din A Abstract Purpose: To evaluate the different IOP readings by Goldmann applanation tonometer (GAT), ICare rebound tonometer, and Tono-Pen in keratoconus patients after MyoRing implantation. To assess the influence of central corneal thickness (CCT) and thinnest corneal location (TCL) on IOP measurements by different tonometers. Setting: Prospective observational study was conducted in two private centers in Egypt from February 2015 to November 2016. Methods: Seventeen eyes of 10 patients suffering from keratoconus and who underwent MyoRing...
Source: Journal of Ophthalmology - Category: Opthalmology Tags: J Ophthalmol Source Type: research
Authors: Sarda C, Fazal F, Rello J Abstract Introduction: Treatment of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a major challenge. The increase in multi-drug resistant bacteria has not been accompanied by the validation of new drugs, or by any new antimicrobial strategies to exploit the available agents. VAP due to Gram-negative bacteria has increased mortality, both due to the resistant pathogens themselves and due to inappropriate treatment. Local epidemiology, patients' characteristics and clinical responses provide the most important information for therapeutic decision-making. Moreover, data on VAP therapy due...
Source: Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine - Category: Respiratory Medicine Tags: Expert Rev Respir Med Source Type: research
In this study, fibrotic lung injuries were induced in SD rats by a single intratracheal instillation of 5 mg/kg bleomycin (BLM). Then, these rats were administered 7.5, 5, or 2.5 mg/kg PD29 daily for 30 days. BLM induced-syndromes including structure distortion, excessive deposition of ECM, excessive inflammatory infiltration, and pro-inflammatory cytokine release were used to evaluate the protective effect of PD-29. Oxidative stress damage in lung tissues was attenuated by PD29 in a dose-dependent manner. The expression of TGF-β1 and the phosphorylation of Smad-2/-3-its downstream targets-were en...
Source: Experimental Lung Research - Category: Respiratory Medicine Tags: Exp Lung Res Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 18 June 2019Source: Enzyme and Microbial TechnologyAuthor(s): Hyunjun Ko, Jung-Hoon Bae, Bong Hyun Sung, Mi-Jin Kim, Hyun-Ju Park, Jung-Hoon SohnAbstractA high yielding and straightforward production system of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) was developed for industrial production of prebiotics. To increase conversion yield of FOS from sucrose, recombinant yeast secreting inulosucrase from Lactobacillus reuteri (LrInu) were constructed. Efficient secretion of LrInu was achieved by truncation of both amino- and carboxy-termini and by introducing an optimal secretion signal. The recombinant yea...
Source: Enzyme and Microbial Technology - Category: Biotechnology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 18 June 2019Source: Computational and Structural Biotechnology JournalAuthor(s): Pernille Ott Frendorf, Ida Lauritsen, Agnieszka Sekowska, Antoine Danchin, Morten H.H. NørholmAbstractThe Escherichia coli cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP or catabolite activator protein, CAP) provides a textbook example of bacterial transcriptional regulation and is one of the best studied transcription factors in biology. For almost five decades a large number of mutants, evolved in vivo or engineered in vitro, have shed light on the molecular structure and mechanism of CRP. Here, we review previous...
Source: Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal - Category: Biotechnology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 19 June 2019Source: Biosensors and BioelectronicsAuthor(s): Sattar Akbari Nakhjavani, Hadi Afsharan, Balal Khalilzadeh, Mohammad Hossein Ghahremani, Sandro Carrara, Yadollah OmidiAbstractCarcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is an important oncomarker for the detection of breast cancer. For ultra-sensitive sensing of CEA with great specificity and accuracy, an innovative and reliable electrochemical immunosensor was developed using various nano-hybrids. A glassy carbon electrode (GC) was modified with thiolated graphene oxide (T-GO) to elevate the active surface area of the electrode. The strept...
Source: Biosensors and Bioelectronics - Category: Biotechnology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 19 June 2019Source: Biosensors and BioelectronicsAuthor(s): Jialin Zhao, Danli Liang, Shouwei Gao, Xiaojun Hu, Kwangnak Koh, Hongxia ChenAbstractB-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a short peptide that is considered to be an important heart failure (HF)-related biomarker. Due to its low concentration in the blood and short half-life, the sensitive detection of BNP is a bottleneck for diagnosing patients at early stages of HF. In this paper, we report a facile surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor to measure BNP; the sensor is based on aptamer-functionalized Au nanoparticles (GNPs-Apt) an...
Source: Biosensors and Bioelectronics - Category: Biotechnology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 19 June 2019Source: Biosensors and BioelectronicsAuthor(s): J.M. Hicks, R. Halkerston, N. Silman, S.K. Jackson, J.W. Aylott, F.J. RawsonAbstractReactive oxygen species are highly reactive molecules that as well as being ubiquitously expressed throughout the body, are also known to be involved in many diseases and disorders including bacterial infection. Current technology has limited success in the accurate detection and identification of specific reactive oxygen species. To combat this, we have developed an electrochemical biosensor that is constructed from single walled carbon nanotubes...
Source: Biosensors and Bioelectronics - Category: Biotechnology Source Type: research
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Source: Biosensors and Bioelectronics - Category: Biotechnology Source Type: research
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