Now Playing Tracks

thecivilwarparlor:

Missing Chapter From America’s History Books

One In Four Of America’s Cowboys Were African-American

Many of the slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries were familiar with cattle herding from their homelands of West Africa. This brings historians the question of the name “Cowboy” and whether or not it was made from slave cow herders.

  • On some Texas trails, about a quarter of cowboys were black.

African American cowboys were largely African American freedmen after the Civil War who were drawn to cowboy life, in part because there was not quite as much discrimination in the west as in other areas of American society at the time. For enslaved Blacks the West offered freedom and refuge from the bonds of slavery. It also gave African Americans a chance at better earnings. . After the Civil War many were employed as horsebreakers and for other tasks, but few of them became ranch foremen or managers. Some black cowboys took up careers as rodeo performers or were hired as federal peace officers in Indian Territory. Others ultimately owned their own farms and ranches.

  • Hundreds of black cowboys were among the very first hands who drove huge herds along trails to Abilene, Kansas, the cattle-selling center of the Old West.  They were especially skilled in vetting horses. When herding cattle, many black riders rode “on point,” ahead of the dust. Black cowboys were forced to do the hardest work with cattle, such as bronco busting, they had special skills with breaking in steeds.

Photo: No original source found, possible circa 1913 http://www.geni.com/projects/Black-Cowboys/1986

http://blackamericaweb.com/2012/11/19/little-known-black-history-fact-black-cowboys/

http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=24166

Get Baked: Vegan Cheesecake So Good, Even Mey Might Eat It

autostraddle:

Get Baked: Vegan Cheesecake So Good, Even Mey Might Eat It

A few months ago, there was an interesting conversation on the staff email thread. We were discussing a cheesecake recipe Rachel had called “super gross” when Mey mentioned that she doesn’t like cheesecake. Specifically, she doesn’t like cream cheese, so any recipe that contains that (frankly delicious) creamy spread is not one she’s interested in consuming. Others chimed in with their…

View On WordPress

neurosciencestuff:

No sedative necessary: Scientists discover new “sleep node” in the brain

A sleep-promoting circuit located deep in the primitive brainstem has revealed how we fall into deep sleep. Discovered by researchers at Harvard School of Medicine and the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, this is only the second “sleep node” identified in the mammalian brain whose activity appears to be both necessary and sufficient to produce deep sleep.

Published online in August in Nature Neuroscience, the study demonstrates that fully half of all of the brain’s sleep-promoting activity originates from the parafacial zone (PZ) in the brainstem. The brainstem is a primordial part of the brain that regulates basic functions necessary for survival, such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.

“The close association of a sleep center with other regions that are critical for life highlights the evolutionary importance of sleep in the brain,” says Caroline E. Bass, assistant professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and a co-author on the paper.

The researchers found that a specific type of neuron in the PZ that makes the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is responsible for deep sleep. They used a set of innovative tools to precisely control these neurons remotely, in essence giving them the ability to turn the neurons on and off at will.

 “These new molecular approaches allow unprecedented control over brain function at the cellular level,” says Christelle Ancelet, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard School of Medicine. “Before these tools were developed, we often used ‘electrical stimulation’ to activate a region, but the problem is that doing so stimulates everything the electrode touches and even surrounding areas it didn’t. It was a sledgehammer approach, when what we needed was a scalpel.”

“To get the precision required for these experiments, we introduced a virus into the PZ that expressed a ‘designer’ receptor on GABA neurons only but didn’t otherwise alter brain function,” explains Patrick Fuller, assistant professor at Harvard and senior author on the paper. “When we turned on the GABA neurons in the PZ, the animals quickly fell into a deep sleep without the use of sedatives or sleep aids.”

How these neurons interact in the brain with other sleep and wake-promoting brain regions still need to be studied, the researchers say, but eventually these findings may translate into new medications for treating sleep disorders, including insomnia, and the development of better and safer anesthetics.

“We are at a truly transformative point in neuroscience,” says Bass, “where the use of designer genes gives us unprecedented ability to control the brain. We can now answer fundamental questions of brain function, which have traditionally been beyond our reach, including the ‘why’ of sleep, one of the more enduring mysteries in the neurosciences.”

neuromorphogenesis:

Hacking The Brain

Abuse of these mind hacking drugs is one of the fastest growing problems of our generation. As long as doctors keep prescribing these harmful drugs to too many youngsters the problem will continue to grow. Although some children really do need these drugs to function regularly, my personal opinion is that the requirements and potency of these drugs should wait until the patient is of age – the same as tobacco or alcohol. The availability of these drugs to young Americans needs to diminish if the trend of usage wants to decrease.

- By AllTreatment

Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

neurosciencestuff:

New research shows that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness.

image

The research at Washington…

This is how brain research should be conceptualized

We make Tumblr themes