COVID vaccine live updates: Here’s what to know in South Carolina on Oct. 11

Health

The State 11 October, 2021 - 01:08pm

by Carnegie Mellon University

The science of physics has strived to find the best possible explanations for understanding matter and energy in the physical world across all scales of space and time. Modern physics is filled with complex concepts and ideas that have revolutionized the way we see (and don't see) the universe. The mysteries of the physical world are increasingly being revealed by physicists who delve into non-intuitive, unseen worlds, involving the subatomic, quantum and cosmological realms. But how do the brains of advanced physicists manage this feat, of thinking about worlds that can't be experienced?

In a recently published paper in npj Science of Learning, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have found a way to decode the brain activity associated with individual abstract scientific concepts pertaining to matter and energy, such as fermion or dark matter.

Robert Mason, senior research associate, Reinhard Schumacher, professor of physics and Marcel Just, the D.O. Hebb University Professor of Psychology, at CMU investigated the thought processes of their fellow CMU physics faculty concerning advanced physics concepts by recording their brain activity using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

Unlike many other neuroscience studies that use brain imaging, this one was not out to find "the place in the brain" where advanced scientific concepts reside. Instead, this study's goal was to discover how the brain organizes highly abstract scientific concepts. An encyclopedia organizes knowledge alphabetically, a library organizes it according to something like the Dewey Decimal System, but how does the brain of a physicist do it?

The study examined whether the activation patterns evoked by the different physics concepts could be grouped in terms of concept properties. One of the most novel findings was that the physicists' brains organized the concepts into those with measureable versus immeasurable size. Here on Earth for most of us mortals, everything physical is measureable, given the right ruler, scale or radar gun. But for a physicist, some concepts like dark matter, neutrinos or the multiverse, their magnitude is not measureable. And in the physicists' brains, the measureable versus immeasurable concepts are organized separately.

Of course, some parts of the brain organization of the physics professors resembled the organization in physics students' brains such as concepts that had a periodic nature. Light, radio waves and gamma rays have a periodic nature but concepts like buoyancy and the multiverse do not.

But how can this interpretation of the brain activation findings be assessed? The study team found a way to generate predictions of the activation patterns of each of the concepts. But how can the activation evoked by dark matter be predicted? The team recruited an independent group of physics faculty to rate each concept on each of the hypothesized organizing dimensions on a 1–7 scale. For example, a concept like "duality" would tend to be rated as immeasureable (i.e., low on the measureable magnitude scale). A computational model then determined the relation between the ratings and activation patterns for all of the concepts except one of them and then used that relation to predict the activation of the left-out concept. The accuracy of this model was 70% on average, well above chance at 50%. This result indicates that the underlying organization is well-understood. This procedure is demonstrated for the activation associated with the concept of dark matter in the accompanying figure.

The neurons in the human brain have a large number of computational capabilities with various characteristics, and experience determines which of those capabilities are put to use in various possible ways in combination with other brain regions to perform particular thinking tasks. For example, every healthy brain is prepared to learn the sounds of spoken language, but an infant's experience in a particular language environment shapes which phonemes of which language are learned.

Another striking finding was the large degree of commonality across physicists in how their brains represented the concepts. Even though the physicists were trained in different universities, languages and cultures, there was a similarity in brain representations. This commonality in conceptual representations arises because the brain system that automatically comes into play for processing a given type of information is the one that is inherently best suited to that processing. As an analogy, consider that the parts of one's body that come into play to perform a given task are the best suited ones: to catch a tennis ball, a closing hand automatically comes into play, rather than a pair or knees or a mouth or an armpit. Similarly, when physicists are processing information about oscillation, the brain system that comes into play is the one that would normally process rhythmic events, such as dance movements or ripples in a pond. And that is the source of the commonality across people. It is the same brain regions in everyone that are recruited to process a given concept.

So the secret of teaching ancient brains new tricks, as the advance of civilization has repeatedly done, is to empower creative thinkers to develop new understandings and inventions, by building on or repurposing the inherent information processing capabilities of the human brain. By communicating these newly developed concepts to others, they will root themselves in the same information processing capabilities of the recipients' brains as the original developers used. Mass communication and education can propogate the advances to entire populations. Thus the march of science, technology and civilization continue to be driven by the most powerful entity on Earth, the human brain.

Use this form if you have come across a typo, inaccuracy or would like to send an edit request for the content on this page. For general inquiries, please use our contact form. For general feedback, use the public comments section below (please adhere to guidelines).

Please select the most appropriate category to facilitate processing of your request

Thank you for taking time to provide your feedback to the editors.

Your feedback is important to us. However, we do not guarantee individual replies due to the high volume of messages.

Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Medical Xpress in any form.

Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties.

Daily science news on research developments and the latest scientific innovations

The latest engineering, electronics and technology advances

The most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web

This site uses cookies to assist with navigation, analyse your use of our services, collect data for ads personalisation and provide content from third parties. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Read full article at The State

SC reports 3-day total of below 4,500 new COVID-19 cases, 140 deaths

Live 5 News WCSC 12 October, 2021 - 02:14pm

by Carnegie Mellon University

The science of physics has strived to find the best possible explanations for understanding matter and energy in the physical world across all scales of space and time. Modern physics is filled with complex concepts and ideas that have revolutionized the way we see (and don't see) the universe. The mysteries of the physical world are increasingly being revealed by physicists who delve into non-intuitive, unseen worlds, involving the subatomic, quantum and cosmological realms. But how do the brains of advanced physicists manage this feat, of thinking about worlds that can't be experienced?

In a recently published paper in npj Science of Learning, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have found a way to decode the brain activity associated with individual abstract scientific concepts pertaining to matter and energy, such as fermion or dark matter.

Robert Mason, senior research associate, Reinhard Schumacher, professor of physics and Marcel Just, the D.O. Hebb University Professor of Psychology, at CMU investigated the thought processes of their fellow CMU physics faculty concerning advanced physics concepts by recording their brain activity using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

Unlike many other neuroscience studies that use brain imaging, this one was not out to find "the place in the brain" where advanced scientific concepts reside. Instead, this study's goal was to discover how the brain organizes highly abstract scientific concepts. An encyclopedia organizes knowledge alphabetically, a library organizes it according to something like the Dewey Decimal System, but how does the brain of a physicist do it?

The study examined whether the activation patterns evoked by the different physics concepts could be grouped in terms of concept properties. One of the most novel findings was that the physicists' brains organized the concepts into those with measureable versus immeasurable size. Here on Earth for most of us mortals, everything physical is measureable, given the right ruler, scale or radar gun. But for a physicist, some concepts like dark matter, neutrinos or the multiverse, their magnitude is not measureable. And in the physicists' brains, the measureable versus immeasurable concepts are organized separately.

Of course, some parts of the brain organization of the physics professors resembled the organization in physics students' brains such as concepts that had a periodic nature. Light, radio waves and gamma rays have a periodic nature but concepts like buoyancy and the multiverse do not.

But how can this interpretation of the brain activation findings be assessed? The study team found a way to generate predictions of the activation patterns of each of the concepts. But how can the activation evoked by dark matter be predicted? The team recruited an independent group of physics faculty to rate each concept on each of the hypothesized organizing dimensions on a 1–7 scale. For example, a concept like "duality" would tend to be rated as immeasureable (i.e., low on the measureable magnitude scale). A computational model then determined the relation between the ratings and activation patterns for all of the concepts except one of them and then used that relation to predict the activation of the left-out concept. The accuracy of this model was 70% on average, well above chance at 50%. This result indicates that the underlying organization is well-understood. This procedure is demonstrated for the activation associated with the concept of dark matter in the accompanying figure.

The neurons in the human brain have a large number of computational capabilities with various characteristics, and experience determines which of those capabilities are put to use in various possible ways in combination with other brain regions to perform particular thinking tasks. For example, every healthy brain is prepared to learn the sounds of spoken language, but an infant's experience in a particular language environment shapes which phonemes of which language are learned.

Another striking finding was the large degree of commonality across physicists in how their brains represented the concepts. Even though the physicists were trained in different universities, languages and cultures, there was a similarity in brain representations. This commonality in conceptual representations arises because the brain system that automatically comes into play for processing a given type of information is the one that is inherently best suited to that processing. As an analogy, consider that the parts of one's body that come into play to perform a given task are the best suited ones: to catch a tennis ball, a closing hand automatically comes into play, rather than a pair or knees or a mouth or an armpit. Similarly, when physicists are processing information about oscillation, the brain system that comes into play is the one that would normally process rhythmic events, such as dance movements or ripples in a pond. And that is the source of the commonality across people. It is the same brain regions in everyone that are recruited to process a given concept.

So the secret of teaching ancient brains new tricks, as the advance of civilization has repeatedly done, is to empower creative thinkers to develop new understandings and inventions, by building on or repurposing the inherent information processing capabilities of the human brain. By communicating these newly developed concepts to others, they will root themselves in the same information processing capabilities of the recipients' brains as the original developers used. Mass communication and education can propogate the advances to entire populations. Thus the march of science, technology and civilization continue to be driven by the most powerful entity on Earth, the human brain.

Use this form if you have come across a typo, inaccuracy or would like to send an edit request for the content on this page. For general inquiries, please use our contact form. For general feedback, use the public comments section below (please adhere to guidelines).

Please select the most appropriate category to facilitate processing of your request

Thank you for taking time to provide your feedback to the editors.

Your feedback is important to us. However, we do not guarantee individual replies due to the high volume of messages.

Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Medical Xpress in any form.

Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties.

Daily science news on research developments and the latest scientific innovations

The latest engineering, electronics and technology advances

The most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web

This site uses cookies to assist with navigation, analyse your use of our services, collect data for ads personalisation and provide content from third parties. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

DHEC: Another inspection at Florence senior living home finds problems

wpde.com 12 October, 2021 - 02:14pm

The South Carolina Dept. of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) conducted a follow-up inspection at Carriage House of Florence on Oct. 5 and found numerous violations, according to the inspection report.

DHEC said the citations are part of the ongoing enforcement action discussions with the facility.

DHEC said that they usually issue a monetary penalty against a facility, first to try to bring them into compliance and take action on their license as a "last resort." Taking action on their license would affect the residents and cause relocation.

Reports showed those inspections found bed bugs in some rooms and a strong urine odor in others.

The Carriage House presented the following corrective plan of action:

However, DHEC inspection reports from the Oct. 5 visit found even more problems.

However, reports said the Carriage House of Florence did not keep equipment and building components in good repair and operating conditions.

The following maintenance violations were observed in the Hall One bathrooms:

The following maintenance violations in Hall One rooms were included in the DHEC report.

The following maintenance violations in Hall Three rooms were included in the DHEC report:

The inspection reports also showed bed bugs in three rooms on residents' mattresses, flies throughout the walkway and a strong urine odor in two rooms, along with the smell of cigarette smoke in another room.

The report cites the following housekeeping violations were observed:

DHEC said the practices of staff and volunteers will create conditions that prevent the spread of infectious, contagious, or communicable diseases and provide for the proper disposal of toxic and hazardous substances.

"These preventive measures/practices shall be in compliance with applicable guidelines of the Blood borne Pathogens Standard of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and R.61-105; and other applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations."

DHEC said the staff practices they saw did not promote conditions that would prevent the spread of diseases and were not in compliance with applicable guidelines from the Centers for CDC.

Residents were seen walking throughout the facility and in common areas without wearing a mask and while in close contact with other residents, the report said.

When the inspectors asked residents about masks, they said they did not have one.

The report also said that healthcare providers should wear "source control" when they are in areas where they could encounter patients such as the hospital cafeteria, common halls and corridors, per CDC guidelines.

DHEC said that several staff members were seen not wearing a face covering when inspectors arrived to the facility or during the inspection.

The full inspection report from DHEC can be read in the document below:

SC reports more than 4,400 new COVID-19 cases, 106 deaths for past three days

The State 12 October, 2021 - 02:14pm

As if Covid-19 wasn’t enough to worry about, people across the UK are now reporting coming down with the “worst cold ever”, with those suffering saying they are experiencing “horrible symptoms”.

With people continuing to socialise as coronavirus restrictions have eased, and the winter looming, it’s only natural that seasonal illness will start to spread.

So it might not come as a surprise that many people are getting ill – but many are explaining the symptoms as “the worst” ever.

One man, who lives in Formby, Merseyside, shared his experience on social media, saying it was the “worst lurgy he’s ever had”, the Mirror reports.

Another woman on Facebook said: "Yep, I've been full of cold for the last few days. First one in over two years and it's a doozy!"

During the Covid-19 pandemic, when the UK was in lockdown, common illnesses such as the cold were at an all time low.

However, now restrictions have eased and the winter is coming, seasonal illnesses are back with a vengeance.

Dr Philippa Kaye, a London-based GP, told BBC: "We’ve actually been seeing a rise in the number of coughs and colds and viral infections.

“We are mixing in a way that we haven’t been mixing over the past 18 months.

“During those first lockdowns, we saw a number of other [non-Covid] infections fall. We think that was primarily due to the restrictions on meeting up.”

Many people are reporting a sore throat described as "sandpaper throat", chesty cough and runny nose, and it's very difficult to shift.

It's important to note that some symptoms of a cold and Covid-19 overlap – but there are differences to help tell them apart.

Symptoms of a common cold, according to the NHS, include:

The main symptoms of Covid-19, according to the NHS, are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Professor Tim Spector previously appeared on This Morning to clear up any confusion.

He explained to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: “Many people - perhaps up to half of cases - are going unrecognised because they basically have symptoms that are very cold-like.

"So headache, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing - and the only one that gets into the top five is loss of smell or taste.

"We're now seeing that fever is very low down on the ranking of what we're seeing at the moment. Even rarer are things like shortness of breath or a persistent cough.

"It's a combination of factors but we've got to face the reality which is, most people out there with Covid are presenting with cold-like symptoms.”

If it's just a cold, your symptoms can be managed at home.

However, because the symptoms can overlap, it's important to rule out Covid-19.

ZOE, the world’s largest ongoing study into Covid-19, said: "A negative result from a lateral flow test is not reliable enough to be sure you’re definitely not infected, so if your symptoms persist it’s best to get a PCR test to be sure."

If you have one of the main symptoms of coronavirus listed above, you must arrange a PCR test.

Stay at home and don't have visitors until you get your test result.

Health Stories

JCPenney