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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Now Showing: Movies From Your Brain


brain images
Study subjects were shown movie trailers (left), and neuroscientists were able to reconstruct them (right) using brain activity data and a library of random YouTube clips.Click to enlarge this image. 
Jack Gallant



 "Neuroscientists reconstructed blurry videos from brain scanning machine readings of people watching movie trailers." ~ Discovery News



What if scientists could peer inside your brain and then reconstruct what you were thinking, playing the images back like a video?
Science and technology are not even remotely at that point yet, but a new study from the University of California Berkeley marks a significant, if blurry, step in that direction.
"Using our particular modeling framework, we can actually infer very fast dynamic events that happen in the brain," said Jack Gallant, a neuroscience professor at the University of California Berkeley who worked on the study, which was published today in the journal Current Biology.
To try and read the brain, the scientists had people watch compilations of clips from Hollywood movie trailers while staying still inside a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine, better known as fMRI. The machine took scans as the subjects watched the compilation 10 times, totaling around two hours.
Part of the challenge is that while an individual neuron can fire hundreds of times a second, fMRI machines can only provide snapshots of those neural events. Despite those imperfect snapshots, the scientists were able to translate them into videos using a computer model with a special reconstruction algorithm.
Since they didn't have access to all possible images that could be playing inside subjects' brains, the scientists approximated it be generating a database of 18 million seconds of random video clips -- as they would be seen in the brain.
Then they used their custom algorithm, which Gallant compares to a dictionary, to "read" the brain scans taken during the Hollywood clip viewing. Ultimately they were able to reconstruct videos of what was seen using the closest moving images from the random library
Contributing sources:

http://news.discovery.com/tech/zooms/mind-reading-movie-clips-110922.html





Testing Anthrax Vaccine on our children


Washington Business Journal reports that Emergent derives the bulk of its revenue from federal public health agencies.
“Emergent proudly supports the U.S. government’s efforts and unwavering commitment to meet its stated need of 75 million doses of anthrax vaccines,” said Fuad El-Hibri, chairman and chief executive officer of Emergent BioSolutions. “This contract is an indication that BioThrax remains a critical component of the government’s arsenal of biodefense medical countermeasures. In addition to this contract modification, we are continuing discussions with the U.S. government regarding a follow-on procurement contract, which we anticipate will cover a multi-year period.”
So, how did Emergent secure such profitable US government contracts for anthrax vaccine?

The answer is described by Scot Lilly in “Getting Rich on Uncle Sucker: Should the Federal Government  Strengthen Efforts to Fight Profiteering?”



Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S., data show

Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S., data show

By Lisa Girion, Scott Glover and Doug Smith Los Angeles Times Excerpts: Propelled by an increase in prescription narcotic overdoses, drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States, a Times analysis of government data has found. Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing at least 37,485 people
Anti-depressants no better than placebos according to scientific studies

Anti-depressants no better than placebos according to scientific studies

by Dr John Read The Sydney Morning Herald Mental health services have become increasingly dominated by psychiatry’s ”medical model”, which claims that feeling depressed, anxious or paranoid is primarily caused by genetic predispositions and chemical imbalances. This has led to alarming rises in chemical solutions to distress. In New Zealand, one in nine adults (and one
Shy Kids Seen as Next Target Market for Psych Drugs

Shy Kids Seen as Next Target Market for Psych Drugs

Now shy children face risk of being given mental-health drugs… with 650,000 youngsters already on Ritalin Experts fear widespread use of powerful medications Hyperactive children already being treated with drugs By Emily Allen dailymail.co.uk Children who are shy or considered moody run the risk of being diagnosed with mental illnesses and given powerful drugs like
Rick Perry Campaign Brings Gardasil Vaccine Dangers to National Spotlight

Rick Perry Campaign Brings Gardasil Vaccine Dangers to National Spotlight

by Brian Shilhavy – Editor, Health Impact News In 2007 Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order mandating that girls in the state of Texas be vaccinated with the Gardasil vaccine. It was later over-ruled by the Texas state legislature. Watch how he handles the criticism over this executive order in the most recent GOP
Study: people mistakenly assume that FDA approval means drugs are effective and lack serious side effects

Study: people mistakenly assume that FDA approval means drugs are effective and lack serious side effects

by Michael Belkin The Refusers Comment: Here’s a new study saying people mistakenly assume that FDA approval means drugs are extremely effective and lack serious side effects. But according to a study author, FDA approval only means ‘the benefits are judged to be greater than the harms.’ According to another CDC study, 48% of people aged


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