Brain-to-brain 'telepathic' communication achieved for first time
Team of US-led researchers successfully achieves brain-to-brain communication between humans from India to France
AFP 11:55AM BST 05 Sep 2014
For the first time, scientists have been able to send a simple mental message from one person to another without any contact between the two, thousands of miles apart in India and France.
Research led by experts at Harvard University shows technology can be used to transmit information from one person's brain to another's even, as in this case, if they are thousands of miles away.
"It is kind of technological realisation of the dream of telepathy, but it is definitely not magical," Giulio Ruffini, a theoretical physicist and co-author of the research, told AFP by phone from Barcelona.
"We are using technology to interact electromagnetically with the brain."
For the experiment, one person wearing a wireless, internet-linked electroencephalogram or EEG would think a simple greeting, like "hola," or "ciao."
A computer translated the words into digital binary code, presented by a series of 1s or 0s.
Then, this message was emailed from India to France, and delivered via robot to the receiver, who through non-invasive brain stimulation could see flashes of light in their peripheral vision.
The subjects receiving the message did not hear or see the words themselves, but were correctly able to report the flashes of light that corresponded to the message.
"We wanted to find out if one could communicate directly between two people by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the second person, and do so across great physical distances by leveraging existing communication pathways," said co-author Alvaro Pascual-Leone, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.
"One such pathway is, of course, the internet, so our question became, 'Could we develop an experiment that would bypass the talking or typing part of Internet and establish direct brain-to-brain communication between subjects located far away from each other in India and France?'"
Ruffini added that extra care was taken to make sure no sensory information got in the way that could have influenced the interpretation of the message.
Researchers have been attempting to send a message from person to person this way for about a decade, and the proof of principle that was reported in the journal PLOS ONE is still rudimentary, he told AFP.
"We hope that in the longer term this could radically change the way we communicate with each other," said Ruffini.
This article is from the Daily Mail so take it with a big grain of salt.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Jack the Ripper unmasked: How amateur sleuth used DNA breakthrough to identify Britain's most notorious criminal 126 years after string of terrible murders
It is the greatest murder mystery of all time, a puzzle that has perplexed criminologists for more than a century and spawned books, films and myriad theories ranging from the plausible to the utterly bizarre.
But now, thanks to modern forensic science, The Mail on Sunday can exclusively reveal the true identity of Jack the Ripper, the serial killer responsible for at least five grisly murders in Whitechapel in East London during the autumn of 1888.
DNA evidence has now shown beyond reasonable doubt which one of six key suspects commonly cited in connection with the Ripper’s reign of terror was the actual killer – and we reveal his identity.
A shawl found by the body of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper’s victims, has been analysed and found to contain DNA from her blood as well as DNA from the killer.
The landmark discovery was made after businessman Russell Edwards, 48, bought the shawl at auction and enlisted the help of Dr Jari Louhelainen, a world-renowned expert in analysing genetic evidence from historical crime scenes.
Using cutting-edge techniques, Dr Louhelainen was able to extract 126-year-old DNA from the material and compare it to DNA from descendants of Eddowes and the suspect, with both proving a perfect match.
The revelation puts an end to the fevered speculation over the Ripper’s identity which has lasted since his murderous rampage in the most impoverished and dangerous streets of London.
In the intervening century, a Jack the Ripper industry has grown up, prompting a dizzying array of more than 100 suspects, including Queen Victoria’s grandson – Prince Albert Victor, the Duke of Clarence – the post-Impressionist painter Walter Sickert, and the former Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone.
Nearly 50 years later, William and Margaret Patterson disappearance still stumped police
By Trish Long / El Paso Times 09/07/2014 12:00:00 AM MDT
DEAR TRISH >> I recently read your very interesting article, "Rio Grande Murder Mystery Still Unsolved," and it reminded me of another local mystery I often heard my parents discuss when I was a young girl. Allegedly, this also took place during the '50s and involved the disappearance of the owners of a business called Patterson Photo Supply. I would be very interested to know more about this.
William and Margaret Patterson disappeared in March 1957. The sheriff's office still carries it as an "open investigation" (cold case), according to my colleague, Diana Washington Valdez, who wrote this article in 2005:
The disappearance of William and Margaret Patterson has been a mystery to the police and El Paso for nearly 50 years. It has inspired urban legends, wild stories of espionage and even tales of UFO abductions.
Now the mystery has taken another turn: The El Paso sheriff's and police departments are taking a new look at the case, which began in March 1957.
"We're assembling all the information in our files and archives," said Sgt. Jim Belknap of the sheriff's Crimes Against Persons unit. "At some point, we will get together with the Police Department people again, lay out everything we have, see what we have and figure out where we can go from there."
"I think they were spies," El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego said. "The way they got up and just walked away and left everything behind. The Russians, or whoever sent them, probably told them to drop everything and go back. Some people said they had seen Patterson take photographs of Fort Bliss and of military shipments on the trains that came here."
The Pattersons owned Patterson Photo Supply near Downtown.
"It was a high-profile case, very unusual," Samaniego said. "The original theory was that they were kidnapped. There was no sign of a struggle. It's like they went out for a walk and never came back."
In their quest to find the couple, El Paso officials sought help from the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department and Mexican authorities, among others.
Associates of the Pattersons told authorities in the 1950s that the couple left to go on an extended vacation to Florida, and later, that they sent word that they weren't coming back.
Cecil Ward, a friend of the Pattersons, reported the couple missing Aug. 15, 1957, five months after they were last seen in El Paso. Ward filed the report with then-Sheriff Jimmy Hicks.
According to news archives, Patterson's 75-year-old father, Luther Patterson, traveled from Chicago to El Paso to testify at the court of inquiry.
He said then, "I always knew Pat and Margaret would take off like this some day, but I figured it to be four or five years away. ... They're not dead. ... My boy has done things like this before. ... He made his living doing sleight-of-hand tricks."
However, several years later, after failing to hear from his son, Patterson's father said he suspected the couple was dead.
Adding to the mystery was the fact that Patterson associates told police that William Patterson had sent written instructions on how he wanted to dispose of his business and private properties.
A letter signed "W.D. Patterson" stated that Patterson wanted his properties to be distributed among Doyle D.G. Kirkland, a friend and manager of Duffy's Photo Supply store; Herb Roth, his business auditor; and Art Moreno, an employee of Patterson who was 24 at the time.
Belknap said it was unusual for Patterson to leave his property to those people, considering that he had at least two living relatives at the time, his father and a sister.
Besides the Patterson Photo Supply store in Downtown, Patterson also owned an interest in a high-end boat company, property in Guaymas, Mexico, the house, a boat and a Cadillac.
During the initial investigation, police interviewed Patterson's alleged 20-year-old girlfriend, Estefana Arroyo Marfin, who lived in Juárez.
She said she last saw William Patterson early March 6, 1957, and said that he told her he had important things to tell her, and that "when they come for me, I'll have to go in a hurry." Belknap said she recanted her statement later.
And Kirkland, they said, was the last person who was at the Patterson house before the couple vanished.
"Kirkland was helping Patterson work on (Patterson's) boat in the garage at the house," said Freddie Bonilla, a former homicide detective who now works as a private investigator.
"I can't believe they just took off. They left their house, business, money and their cat. I heard they fed their cat caviar."
The feline turned up when new tenants leased the house.
Several sightings of the couple were reported in Mexico and the United States, but sheriff's officials said they were never able to confirm any of them.
Bonilla suspects that the Pattersons were killed. In 1984, when he was a sheriff's captain, a new witness emerged who gave credence to that theory. His name was Reynaldo Nangaray.
"Nangaray told us he found blood in (the Pattersons') garage and a piece of human scalp on the propeller of Patterson's boat. He found a pair of jeans with a Rolex watch that belonged to Patterson, and said he also saw one of Patterson's (associates) remove bloody sheets from the home and put them inside the trunk of a car," Bonilla said. "He did not talk to police sooner because he was an illegal immigrant at the time, but when he came to see us, he was a U.S. citizen."
That was a good disappearance story Crystal..Thanx!
Looking none the worse for wear and in need of some decent dentures..Stephen Hawkings issues a warning should we ever get to the point of creating a God particle ...if we built a big enough particle smasher.. Black holes would be the least of our worries.
“The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts,” Hawking writes. “This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light.”
“This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming.”
The successful discovery of the Higgs particle has led to calls from within the scientific community to create larger, more powerful supercolliders than the Large Hadron Collider at Cern, where scientists discovered the Higgs boson.
Many in the scientific community are upset with Hawking — not because he is incorrect, but because such statements from a scientist of his eminence could dissuade the public from funding experiments like those at Cern in the future.
In his preface, Hawking stresses that the possibility of the Higgs boson behaving in such a way is highly unlikely — and that creating the conditions in which the particle would is impossible given the current state of technological development.
“A particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate,” Hawking writes.
How the Red Baron’s Knockoff Aircraft Became the First Great Warplane
By Jordan Golson 09.08.14
World War I was shaped by the new vehicles developed during the four years of conflict. A century after the start of the war, we’re looking back at the most remarkable vehicles—the planes, cars, tanks, ships, and zeppelins—it helped bring about.
Though the Allies won the war and the glory, the Germans gave us one of the most famous airplanes of the Great War. The Fokker Dr.1 triplane, flown by one of history’s great fighter pilots, is among the most recognizable aircraft of the early twentieth century and it played a significant role in launching dogfighting as a new form of combat.
The Dr. 1 was a knockoff of a British Sopwith triplane, one of which crashed behind German lines and was studied extensively. The plane was fantastically successful; its most famous pilot was Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the “Red Baron,” who scored 19 of his final 21 kills in the Dr.1. He was shot down and killed in the plane in April, 1918.
Equipped with a 110-horsepower engine, the 1,300-pound plane could reach an altitude of nearly 20,000 feet. Its top speed of 103 mph was slower than Allied aircraft, but its excellent rudder and elevator provided unparalleled maneuverability and made it one of the best dogfighters in the war. Two 7.92mm Spandau LMG 08/15 machine guns rounded out the plane’s armaments. It could only fly for about 80 minutes before being refueled, but was relatively cheap to manufacture (important for a Germany stunted by a British naval blockade).
Problematically, the Dr.1 was prone to wing failures—bad news for an airplane. Poor manufacturing and a design that put much more force on the top wing rather than the lower two meant the plane wasn’t destined for mass manufacturing. Just 320 Dr. 1 were made, and none of the originals survive. However, they are popular replica aircraft for collectors and historical museums. Budding and wannabe aviators can “fly” the Dr.1 in a flight simulator at the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
The Fokker Dr.1 emphasized the need for maneuverability in air-to-air combat, something that persists to this day in the development of the latest fighter jets, including the F-35 Lighting. It also marks the first plane famous for air-to-air combat—famous enough to end up in Peanuts along with the Red Baron, the arch-nemesis of Snoopy and his Sopwith Camel biplane.
Macaques survive infection with deadly virus 10 months after receiving second shot
by Nathan Seppa September 7, 2014
An experimental vaccine protects monkeys from infection with Ebola, even when the animals are exposed to the virus 10 months after getting the shots, researchers report September 7 in Nature Medicine.
The vaccine is undergoing safety testing in healthy human volunteers (SN Online: 8/24/14). The World Health Organization announced Friday that, once tested, this and another experimental vaccine could be given to health workers as soon as November to fight the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa.
A team led by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md., and Okairos, a biotechnology company now part of GlaxoSmithKline, developed the candidate vaccine by placing genetic material from the Ebola virus into a chimpanzee common cold virus. A single shot protected four macaques when they were exposed to Ebola five weeks later.
Another set of four monkeys got the test vaccine shot plus a booster shot eight weeks later. The booster included Ebola gene segments incorporated into a poxvirus. All four animals evaded infection when exposed to Ebola 10 months after the booster shot.
The vaccine doesn’t use human cold viruses because many people have immunity to them and people’s immune systems may wipe out the vaccine before the body could engender a reaction to Ebola, the authors note.