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Worms regrow their decapitated heads, along with the memories inside

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Denim Chicken, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    Some memories just won’t die — and some can even be transferred to a whole new brain. Researchers at Tufts University have determined that a small, yellow worm known as a planarian, which has long been studied for its regenerative properties, is able to grow back a lot more than just its body parts: after the worm’s small, snake-like head and neck are removed, its body will even regrow a brain that’s capable of quickly relearning its lost skills.

    http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=26025
  2. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    I dont get why anybody cares about this kind of stuff on more than an "oh cool" basis. How is it worthwhile to spend millions researching worms? How can you even prove that they have memories?
  3. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    The experimental method was summarized in the article. This has implications that memories are perhaps not entirely local.
  4. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    I read it. And Im saying that even with great methodology, I dont think you can get into the head of a worm, so to speak. Regardless of what the tests show.

    I also understand the possible implications, I just think that they are insignificant. I mean there is a loose connection that might help solve amnesia problems or Alzheimer's and stuff, but the chances of that are just so small that I cant buy into it.
  5. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the value in this type of research is exclusively tied to potential applications; discovery and understanding more about ourselves in rewarding on its own.
  6. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    But what are we learning about ourselves, by figuring out how a worm thinks? We are discovering that maybe memory isnt local?
  7. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Reading this story made me think of an old twilight zone where this guy had a heart transplant and found himself inexplicably drawn to this woman who ending up being the girlfriend of the donor. If memories are not solely stored in the brain, something like that could may end up being more than fiction.
  8. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    Lol, my point was that, who cares if memories aren't local...other than for possible health reasons.

    If that story were true, there would be no way to actually prove that there was a memory that caused attraction. Maybe they just had the same taste in women.

    People try too hard to find reasons for coincidence.
  9. Denim Chicken

    Denim Chicken Well-Known Member

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    To each his own, I suppose. I find this worthwhile and interesting.
  10. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    I think its interesting, just not interesting enough to spend a lot of money researching it is all.

    Either way, Id be williing to have a really long debate, controlled entirely by emotions and personal feelings, until you see things my way ;)
  11. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    So you think all studies are a waste of money if they don't have practical outcomes? Lots of, actually the majority, of research in Academia is done solely for the purpose of knowing. Knowing that memories aren't local is cool. What to do with it? Maybe nothing for now. But maybe something in the future.
  12. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    I'm a theoretical computational linguist. The practical outcomes in my field have produced Siri, voice activated GPS, and talk to text and text to talk for cell phones. I don't do the practicall stuff but the things i find out allow the practical scientists in my field to create these things.
  13. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    Practical applications are sometimes developed intentionally, but are also often a byproduct of studying something with numerous possibilities. This particular study could lead to a lot of things in the way of regeneration, which could have an immense impact on society on physiological, sociological and philosophical levels.

    Striving to learn for the sake of learning rather than out of necessity is what has accelerated advancement. If it weren't for people asking 'why' then we'd only be asking 'how', which is a terribly short sighted way of living, though probably cost effective.
    dreghorn2, MonsterD and Denim Chicken like this.
  14. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    I would say that most of them are. I think Academia is a pretty ridiculous thing in and of itself. Knowing for the sake of knowing seems absurd, unless it comes at no cost.
    Well, cost effective is the issue. If I went to Tufts, I'd be mad that my tuition was going to that. If its govt. funded, Id be mad that my taxes went to that.
  15. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you'd be upset about it if you were the kind of person who went to Tufts... I mean it is a research university. The 2nd part would seemingly lead to a political debate so I'll just say, 'to each his own' for that part.
  16. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I know this thread says Worms regrow their heads but when I first looked at this, this morning, for whatever reason I read Women. Don't ask me why, I have no intelligent answer for that. It's just that from then on, I keep reading Women and it's kinda freaking me out.


    lol..............
  17. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    I can kind of see it. If you scroll past it quickly the 'r' in worms blends in with 'm', and the 'e' in regrow is right where it looks like... uh... the 'e' in women? I
  18. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I know I'm all screwed up. I know you're not. Don't scare me like that Nt.

    ;)
    Ntegrase96 likes this.
  19. Future

    Future Intramural Legend

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    Tufts is known for its research, but the majority of its major programs, at least for undergrads, are lib. arts. You think all the lax players they recruit are going there to become biomedical engineers?
  20. Ntegrase96

    Ntegrase96 Well-Known Member

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    Think you countered your own point though... it's a private school known for its research. If someone felt that strongly about contributing to research they probably would attend Tufts at all (or as a parent, wouldn't pay for it).

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