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By Doolittle E.

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61 “DAWN’S LEFT HAND,” as Persian poet Omar Khayyám called the zodiacal light, gently illuminates the eastern sky just before morning twilight in the autumn. In the spring, the same effect produces a “false dusk” in the west just after evening twilight. The glow is really just sunlight reflected off dust that asteroids and comets have sprinkled through the inner solar system. An analogous glow accompanies other stars, betraying the presence of asteroids and comets around them. Astrophotographer Jerry Schad caught this scene at Cuyamaca Lake near San Diego.

NEGATIVE EMOTIONS tors demonstrated the effects of opportunity costs when they had subjects put a dollar value on subscriptions to magazines or flights from San Francisco to attractive locations. Some attached prices to a single magazine subscription or a single destination. Others attached prices to the same magazine or destination when it was part of a group containing three others. Prices were consistently lower when a given alternative was evaluated as part of a group than when it was evaluated in isolation.

If signals can travel extensively through astrocyte circuits, then glia at one site could activate distant glia to coordinate the firing of neural networks across regions of the brain. Comparisons of brains reveal that the proportion of glia to neurons increases greatly as animals move up the evolutionary ladder. Haydon wonders whether extensive connectivity among astrocytes might contribute to a greater capacity for learning. He and others are investigating this hypothesis in new experiments. Perhaps a higher concentration of glia, or a more potent type of glia, is what elevates certain humans to genius.

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A Study of the Motions of Forty-eight Double Stars (1917)(en)(3s) by Doolittle E.


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