Brain Cell DNA Refolds Itself to Aid Memory Recall | Quanta Magazine

More than a century ago, the zoologist Richard Semon coined the term “engram” to designate the physical trace a memory must leave in the brain, like a footprint. Since then, neuroscientists have made progress in their hunt for exactly how our brains form memories. They have learned that specific brain cells activate as we form [...]

Virtually Blind Mole-Rats Use Their Eyes to ‘See’ Magnetic Fields, Experiment Shows

In the gloom of subterranean tunnels, chonky little mole-rats build their nests, tucked safely away, deep inside the earth. Strangely, one species always carefully builds these nests in the south-eastern part of their den. — Read on http://www.sciencealert.com/almost-blind-mole-rats-use-their-eyes-to-see-magnetic-fields

The ancient world teemed with birds; now we think with them | Aeon Essays

Birds have always been important ‘markers’, associated with particular seasons, times and places. In the ancient world, weather and seasonal changes were matters of vital consequence for agriculture, travel, trade and the rounds of domestic life, and birds served as a standard point of reference in calibrating and interpreting the cycles of the year. In [...]

How the geometry of ancient habitats may have influenced human brain evolution | Ars Technica

There's a pivotal scene in the 2012 film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, and a company of dwarves are chased by orcs through a classic New Zealand landscape. For Northwestern University neuroscientist and engineer Malcolm MacIver, the scene is an excellent example of the kind of patchy landscape—dotted with trees, bushes, [...]

The Kerguelen Islands in the Indian Ocean • Earth.com

Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an astronaut view of the Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. On the western side of the islands, winds were pushing low-lying clouds against the shore. At the same time, ship wave clouds appear rippling over  smaller outlying islands.  In the bottom if the image, [...]

Overblown and under-loved: wind farms at the edge of beauty | Aeon Essays

In The Great Animal Orchestra, Bernie Krause defines soundscape by breaking it down into ‘geophony’ — the sounds made by the physical environment (wind, water, etc); ‘biophony’ — the sounds made by animals, birds and insects; and ‘androphony’ — the sounds made by human activities. A soundscape is the interaction and balance of these factors, [...]