As real as that daydream may seem, its path through your brain runs opposite reality.
Aiming to discern discrete neural circuits, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have tracked electrical activity in the brains of people who alternately imagined scenes or watched videos.
"A really important problem in brain research is understanding how different parts of the brain are functionally connected. What areas are interacting? What is the direction of communication?" says Barry Van Veen, a UW-Madison professor of electrical and computer engineering. "We know that the brain does not function as a set of independent areas, but as a network of specialized areas that collaborate."
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine could be offering new hope to men with genital abnormalities or injuries in as little as five years, thanks to one of their many tissue engineering endeavors: lab-grown penises.
While that may sound a little far-out, these guys are among the world leaders in regenerative medicine and they've achieved some remarkable things in the past. Back in 1999, they became the first in the world to successfully implant a lab-grown organ into humans—a bladder. Since then, they've transplanted engineered vaginas into women born with defects or without vaginas entirely, and have started working on growing tissues and organs for more than 30 different areas of the body.
For the first time, a mission designed to set its eyes on black holes and other objects far from our solar system has turned its gaze back closer to home, capturing images of our sun. NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has taken its first picture of the sun, producing the most sensitive solar portrait ever taken in high-energy X-rays.
"NuSTAR will give us a unique look at the sun, from the deepest to the highest parts of its atmosphere," said David Smith, a solar physicist and member of the NuSTAR team at University of California, Santa Cruz.