March 8th, 2006



Бестселлер из серии "a must read"

С.Хокинг "Краткая история времени от Большого взрыва до черных дыр" (+ zip file)

Сайт о теории суперструн "Элегантная Вселенная" (Б.Грин )

The Elegant Universe homepage

three hours of The Elegant Universe are available to watch online!

Brian Greene Can Explain It (interview)


оказывается, в обыкновенной курице скрывается архозавр (а не только птичий грипп)....

Mutant Chickens Grow Teeth
Current Biology, Feb. 2006

The unusual feat represents the first evidence for tooth development in birds without grafts or tissue manipulation. Lead author told that the early theropod dinosaur ancestors of birds possessed impressive choppers. These bird relatives lost their teeth 70-80 million years ago and subsequently developed beaks, but Harris and his team believe their study results prove that the potential to form teeth still exists in birds, especially during their earliest stages of growth.
"The main point is that within an embryonic bird in which development is shifted, teeth start to form," Harris said. "Thus, the genes and process are still there with the capability to be initiated. - alligators and birds shared a common ancestor(s)- the archosaurs."

The chickens grew conical-shaped, alligator-type teeth. Harris said that Dinosaurs, flying pterosaurs, crocodiles and birds all are classified within the diverse archosaur group of reptiles. He theorized that relatives of modern birds lost their teeth to reduce weight and drag in flight. These bird ancestors also lost some of their bone mass, probably for the same reason. Harris said beaks were not necessarily worse than teeth for pulverizing food. He said beaks "come quite close to grinding function" in tests, and "the beak proves to be quite versatile."


Растения "понимают", что происходит с соседями.....и действуют согласно обстановке

"Plants Eavesdrop for Defense Purposes"
When sagebrush is damaged by insects, it broadcasts the predator's presence by releasing odors into the air. Other sagebrush pick up on the smells from their wounded brethren and get their defenses going.

Volatile Signaling in Plant-Plant Interactions: "Talking Trees" in the Genomics Era
Science, Feb. 2006

Plants may "eavesdrop" on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by herbivore-attacked neighbors to activate defenses before being attacked themselves. Transcriptome and signal cascade analyses of VOC-exposed plants suggest that plants eavesdrop to prime direct and indirect defenses and to hone competitive abilities. Advances in research on VOC biosynthesis and perception have facilitated the production of plants that are genetically "deaf" to particular VOCs or "mute" in elements of their volatile vocabulary. Such plants, together with advances in VOC analytical instrumentation, will allow researchers to determine whether fluency enhances the fitness of plants in natural communities.


......Когда испытуемая видела, как дотрагиваются до кого бы то ни было, ей казалось, будто она чувствует прикосновения в том же месте. При этом она думала, что все остальные ощущают то же самое.....

Нейробиологи пытаются понять, каким образом мозгу удается формировать и поддерживать самосознание. Обнаружено, что некоторые области мозга отвечают на информацию, связанную с собственной личностью, совсем не так, как на сведения о других, даже хорошо знакомых людях. Например, когда человек думает о своих качествах, такие участки активируются сильнее, чем при размышлении о других. Вероятно, данные отделы мозга входят в состав сети самосознания. Цель таких исследований – понять причины деменции и найти новые способы лечения


"Brain probe triggers out-of-body experiences"

The Journal of Neuroscience, Jan. 2005
"Linking Out-of-Body Experience and Self Processing to Mental Own-Body Imagery at the Temporoparietal Junction"


к вопросу о когнитивных способностях животных...

"Causal Reasoning in Rats"
Science, Feb. 2006

Abstract: Empirical research with nonhuman primates appears to support the view that causal reasoning is a key cognitive faculty that divides humans from animals. The claim is that animals approximate causal learning using associative processes. The present results cast doubt on that conclusion. Rats made causal inferences in a basic task that taps into core features of causal reasoning without requiring complex physical knowledge. They derived predictions of the outcomes of interventions after passive observational learning of different kinds of causal models. These competencies cannot be explained by current associative theories but are consistent with causal Bayes net theories. (на русском)

Легендарный попугай Алекс, не только понимающий вопросы, заданные на языке, но и дающий на них ответы - тоже на языке (английском). Вопросы на сообразительность и счет.

Researchers explore whether parrot has concept of zero

....The story began when researchers started testing Alex to see whether he understood small numbers, between one and six. Zero wasn’t expected of him. The researchers would lay out an array of objects of different colors and sizes, and asked questions such as “what color four?”— meaning which color are the objects of which there are four.
Alex performed well on this, with no training, for dozens of trials, the researchers recounted. But then he balked. Alex started ignoring questions, or giving wrong answers, seemingly deliberately. He seemed to enjoy the experimenters’ frustrated reactions, they said.
There was evidence, they added, that his stubbornness stemmed from boredom with the rewards he had been getting for right answers. The researchers found some more interesting toys to give as rewards. After two weeks of obstructionism, Alex grudgingly returned to the game, though he occasionally seemed to lapse back.

One of these apparent lapses occurred one day when an experimenter asked Alex “what color three?” Laid out before Alex were sets of two, three and six objects, each set differently colored. Alex insisted on responding: “five.” This made no sense given that the answer was supposed to be a color. After several tries the experimenter gave up and said: “OK, Alex, tell me: what color five?”

“None,” the bird replied. This was correct, in that there was no color that graced exactly five of the objects. The researchers went on to incorporate “none” into future trials, and Alex consistently used the word correctly, they said.

“We cannot determine what cognitive process led to this behavior,” the researchers wrote. “We suggest only that his action, occurring soon after a period of noncompliance, resulted from a lack of interest in the given task and was a possible attempt to make the procedure more challenging.”

The Journal of Comparative Psychology, May 2005
Number comprehension by a grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), including a zero-like concept

The Journal of Comparative Psychology, 2006 Feb
Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) numerical abilities: addition and further experiments on a zero-like concept

Алекса можно увидеть
Quicktime video (3 Mb)


Лучшая зрительная иллюзия 2005 года

зрительные иллюзии:
зрительные иллюзии:

"Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See"

Richard L Gregory on-line (статьи по зрительному восприятию в свободном доступе!)