Photography as a Balm for Mental Illness

An artistic activity such as photography is “literally and figuratively enlivening,” according to Ellen J. Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard and author of “On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity.” “When people are depressed, they tend to retreat from the world. Noticing things in the camera puts you in the present moment, makes you sensitive to context and perspective, and that’s the essence of engagement. I have years of research telling us how good that is for health and well-being.”

Learn more from the nytimes.

These Mice Excel At Assembling The Ideal Sperm Swim Teams

In humans, it’s every sperm for itself: sperm cells race to reach an egg and the first one there gets to fertilise it. But in many other animals, sperm can clump together to form cooperative bundles that outswim any solo cells.

Take the deer mouse. The sperm of this common North American rodent have heads that are flattened paddles with small hooks, rather than the usual round teardrops. These heads can stick to each other, forming clusters of up to 35 sperm. Scientists have reasonably assumed that the sperm swim better as a team, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the groups are faster; sometimes, they barely move.

Heidi Fisher from Harvard University knows why. Together with Luca Giomi and L Mahadevan, she created a mathematical model that simulated the swimming sperm. It showed that while groups don’t swim any faster, they do swim straighter because each cell cancels out the wobbling movements of its neighbours. Their speed stays the same but their velocity—their speed in a straight line—goes up.  “The aggregate gets to the finish faster,” says Fisher.”

Learn more from Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Flush Your Kids Down the Toilet in a New Exhibition in Japan

The new “Human Waste & Earth’s Future” exhibition at Miraikan in Japan lets visitors experience what it’s like when their lives are going down the toilet. The creative exhibition invites kids to get flushed, by climbing a flight of stairs to the porcelain throne and sliding down the tubes to enter. To top it all off, each kid is given a poop hat, to crown them on their journey to learn about what happens to human waste.”

(via Inhabitat)

The CPR We Don’t See on TV

Some have suggested that misrepresentations of CPR on television may lead patients to have unrealistic expectations of what the procedure entails and the likelihood of success. Survival rates for patients receiving CPR on popular, prime-time medical TV shows have traditionally been much higher than in the real world. One study found that 75 percent of TV patients who receive CPR are alive immediately after, and 67 percent of patients survive in the long term. Other research has shown that though recent shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” have more accurate immediate survival rates, they are still misleading.”

Read more from The Well blog at the nytimes.

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union