Paranormal Activity in the World

Scientists have Created A Semi-Synthetic Organism That Produces Biological Compounds Unknown To Nature

Thursday, November 30 2017

Scientists have Created A Semi-Synthetic Organism That Produces Biological Compounds Unknown To Nature

« Previous - Next » Scientists have Created A Semi-Synthetic Organism That Produces Biological Compounds Unknown To Nature The building blocks of DNA have been expanded by scientists who have created a semi-synthetic organism that is stable that is able to produce biological compounds that have never been seen before. New Life-form Researchers Developed Have Six Nucleotides Not Four DNA makes up all things that are living on Earth, and it is made up of four nucleotides that are basic. However, the new life-form researchers in the United States have developed have six, and this leads to things becoming very interesting. The SSO, or semi-synthetic organism, that has been engineered by a team from Scripps Research Institute in California has been made up from the four regular nucleobases that humans are. Fluorescent image of Synthorx’s semi-synthetic organism These are adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine, but it also has two nucleotides that are unnatural too. This means that it gets two more letters, X, and Y in the DNA base pairs, which are essentially the rungs of the ladder that hold the helix spirals of the DNA together. Related Articles Scientists Created Living Organisms With Synthetic DNA - Have We Gone To Far? Members of the research team engineered the same kind of synthetic DNA base pair in 2014, and this revealed that it could be incorporated into E. Coli bacteria that had been modified. This led to the creation of the first-ever living organism with extra letters in it, and it also gave way to the expansion of genetic code that could essentially allow for new types of biological process. However, there was an issue, and this was with the stability. The semi-synthetic organism was able to hold onto its unnatural nucleotides, but it was unable to maintain them when cells were dividing, indefinitely. CRISPR-Cas9 Was Used By Researchers Floyd Romesberg, the senior lead researcher, said that the genome is not only stable for a day; it needs to have stability over the scale of a lifetime. He went on to say that if the semisynthetic organism was going to be an organism, then it has to be able to maintain the information in a stable condition. Professor Floyd Romesberg (right) and Graduate Student Yorke Zhang led the new study at The Scripps Research Institute To work around this, the researchers came up with a way for the semi-synthetic organism to be able to hold onto the X and Y base pair that was unnatural. This was made possible due to a nucleotide transporter so that better DNA replication was better, a Y molecule that was optimized and an engineering system that was refined and which made use of CRISPR-Cas9. Researchers Revealed First Stable Organism With 6-Letter Code In January The results of this were first revealed in January and it was the first ever organism formed that was stable using the 6-letter genetic code. Now a new study has been published and the researchers have revealed that more improvements of that kind have been made to the molecular stability thanks to semi-synthetic bacterium that is able to transcribe and then translate the unnatural X and Y nucleotides with the exact same efficiency as the natural nucleotides, which are A, C, G, and T. Thanks to a new transcription process the organism is able to synthesize proteins that contain the non-canonical amino acids and this is a process that might shed new light on ways of replicating molecules with reliance that is less on hydrogen bonds. At an extremely high magnification of 44,818x, this colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image reveals some of the morphologic details The team of scientists said in a paper that this showed that for each step of information storage and its retrieval, the hydrogen bonds, which were central to the natural base pairs, might be in some part replaced with packing that was complementary along with hydrophobic forces. Despite the mechanism of decoding, which was said to be novel, the codons could be decoded just as efficiently as their natural counterparts. By-products Are First Generation Derived Proteins Never Seen Before The scientists have revealed that the by-products are the first of a new generation of derived proteins that are semi-synthetic and which have never before been seen in nature due to them having stable and indefinite incorporation of the base pair that is unnatural. The researchers said that they had examined the decoding of the two unnatural codons and the UBP is not likely to be limited to them. They went on to say that the first SSI that was reported is thought to be only the first of the new type of semi-synthetic life that can gain access to a wide range of forms and functions that have not been available to natural organisms. At the moment the researchers do not know where this is going to lead, however, one thing is for sure and this is that complexity of life on Earth has taken a huge step forward. The findings are reported in Nature:

Canadian Physics Professor claims to have uncovered ETI signals from 234 stars

Thursday, November 30 2017

Canadian Physics Professor claims to have uncovered ETI signals from 234 stars

« Previous - Next » Canadian Physics Professor claims to have uncovered ETI signals from 234 stars For quite a while, humans have been curious to find out if life exists beyond the small fraction of the universe we occupy. For instance, we have been fascinated by UFO sightings and reports of aliens being found, regardless of how fake or silly it may sound. Furthermore, in the famous radio broadcast "War of the Worlds, "many humans believed that aliens were actually going after them, and many US states evacuated even though they were told before the start of the program that it was all a dramatization. This human fascination with the supernatural has led some researchers to believe that special signals coming from 234 stars are extraterrestrial beings also trying to find out if they are the only inhabitants of the universe. These 1.65 picosecond long pulses are thought to have originated from some sort of extraterrestrial life form. This isn't the first time humans have tried searching for extraterrestrial life: back when the MERCURY unmanned probes still existed, scientists sent along gold plates of data regarding the human race, and a CD with greetings in many of Earth's languages. Perhaps this discovery means that the extraterrestrial life forms have received our message and are replying back. However, this could also be a hoax. 1.65 picosecond pulses could be a result of instrumental inaccuracies or poor observer measurement. Additionally, the length of time is so small that the perfect hoaxer would make it look as if it was a believable amount of time but significant enough to spark interest. Space exploration is constantly getting better, and maybe in the future, we will be able to debunk the mysteries of extraterrestrial life once and for all! Related Articles

Neolithic women were stronger than athletes - Unexplained Mysteries

Thursday, November 30 2017

Neolithic women were stronger than athletes - Unexplained Mysteries

Neolithic women were stronger than athletes Posted on Thursday, 30 November, 2017 | 27 comments Neolithic farm workers were stronger than Olympic rowers. Image Credit: Public Domain The arms of women who lived 7,000 years ago were stronger than those of today's elite Olympic rowers. Looking to hone your muscles to perfection without having to hit the gym on a regular basis ? The answer, it seems, may lie in taking on the daily chores of a Neolithic farm worker. In a recent study, scientists analyzed the arm bones of women who lived during the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages and found that those who lived during the earliest days of agriculture had stronger arm muscles than today's elite rowers. "They're farming without the plow or mechanized anything," said lead researcher Alison Macintosh. "They have to till the soil by hand, with things like digging sticks and hoes. So that's a lot of manual work. And they also do all the planting and harvesting and the grinding of the grain to make flour." "I felt a little vindicated for showing that women were indeed not just sitting on their butts." "I didn't suspect that was the case, but it feels nice to provide that data from living women and to highlight that hidden history of women's work." Source: CBC.ca | Comments (27) Tags: Farming , Agriculture

World's deepest fish found 7,966 meters down - Unexplained Mysteries

Thursday, November 30 2017

World's deepest fish found 7,966 meters down - Unexplained Mysteries

World's deepest fish found 7,966 meters down Posted on Thursday, 30 November, 2017 | 11 comments Can any fish live deeper down than this ? Image Credit: YouTube / University of Washington A new species of extremely deep-sea snailfish has been found in the depths of the Mariana Trench. Discovered almost five miles beneath the surface, this ghost-like fish is around twice the length of a cigar and has skin so translucent that it is possible to see its internal organs. At these depths, the pressure is so extreme that it is like having the equivalent weight of an entire elephant pressing down on every square inch of your entire body. Below this depth, the pressure becomes so overwhelming that it can even destabilize proteins. The new species, Pseudoliparis swirei , is named after an officer aboard the HMS Challenger which discovered thousands of new species during an expedition in the 1870s. "We named this fish after him in acknowledgment of the crews that serve on oceanographic research vessels," said Mackenzie Gerringer, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington. "It takes a lot of people to keep a ship running and we wanted to sincerely thank them." Source: National Geographic | Comments (11) Tags: Snailfish , Mariana Trench

ESO astronomers discover 72 new galaxies - Unexplained Mysteries

Thursday, November 30 2017

ESO astronomers discover 72 new galaxies - Unexplained Mysteries

ESO astronomers discover 72 new galaxies Posted on Thursday, 30 November, 2017 | 3 comments These galaxies date back to the earliest days of the universe. Image Credit: ESO/MUSE HUDF The new galaxies date back 13 billion years to a time shortly after the formation of the universe. The discovery was made using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. The galaxies were situated in a patch of sky previously investigated by the Hubble Space Telescope and were identified thanks to MUSE's ability to make observations across a range of wavelengths. "MUSE can do something that Hubble can't - it splits up the light from every point in the image into its component colours to create a spectrum," said astrophysicist Roland Bacon. "This allows us to measure the distance, colors and other properties of all the galaxies we can see - including some that are invisible to Hubble itself." Source: CBC.ca | Comments (3) Tags: Galaxy , ESO , Hubble

The CIA Cocaine-Filled Plane That Crashed in Mexico

Thursday, November 30 2017

The CIA Cocaine-Filled Plane That Crashed in Mexico

30 In 2007 an aircraft known as Gulfstream II crashed in a jungle in Yucatan, Mexico. The plane had four tons of cocaine onboard. The Gulfstream II, tail number N987SA, was allegedly transporting CIA rendition prisons from Europe to Guantanamo Bay. On September 24th, the plane crash-landed when, it is believed, it ran out of fuel. The (1) Daily Kos notes how there were apparently four individuals onboard the plane when it crashed. Initially only one was captured, though two more were caught by authorities later. The names of the three men and one woman that are believed to have been aboard the aircraft were not released. CIA Plains and Drugs The Gulfstream II was used by the CIA for several flights between the East coast of the United States and Guantanamo Bay from 2003 to 2005. According to reports, records from the Federal Aviation Association list the aircraft as being owned by Atef Hanna of Tarpon Springs Florida. “To be honest with relation to the crew of the Gulfstream II N987SA the Mexican government is being pretty damn silent,” writes the Daily Kos. However, at the time of the crash, the plane is believed to have been registered with Donna Blue Aircraft Inc. According to (2) Top Conspiracies, Donna Blue Aircraft was a front for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Claims have also been made that the ICE sold the plane to Drug Enforcement Agency suspected drug smugglers as part of an undercover operation prior to the crash. An undercover agent from the ICE, Don Whittington, is currently under investigation for allegedly laundering profits from the sale of the aircraft and other likes it, which were apparently used in drug smuggling raids, from a Colorado Springs resort and spa. Evidence of CIA’s Involvement Other evidence of the CIA’s involvement in allowing cocaine trafficking in support of intelligence efforts can be found on the CIA’s online library. A (3) report of Investigation Concerning Allegations of Connections Between CIA and the Contras in Cocaine Trafficking to the United States, dates to January 29, 1998. The allegations go back to 1996 when the San Jose Mercury published a series of reports alleging that the CIA was involved with cocaine smuggling. Known as the “Dark Alliance” series, the articles claimed that cocaine was: “…virtually unobtainable in black neighborhoods before members of the CIA’s army – the Nicaraguan Contras – started bringing it into South Central Los Angeles in the 1980s.” The articles made claim that a former Contra leader and a cocaine supplier to a LA drug dealer, Danilo Blandon, had testified in court that the profits from the cocaine supported the Contras. The newspaper reports also made claim that Blandon’s attorney had concluded Blandon was selling cocaine for the CIA. The damning articles stated that Norwin Meneses, a well-known drugs trafficker who had been connected with the Contras and that the CIA, had deliberately hampered a criminal investigation related to drug trafficking. CIA Claims No Connection Though, after an investigation by the CIA to analyse the connections between these men and other individuals associated with drug trafficking, the CIA claims it had never had a relationship with Danilo Blandon or Norwin Meneses. However, Meneses says he was associated with the Contras. Another (4) document available to view on the CIA archives dates to August 1984. The document relates to a former bail bondsman who was charged with being the “biggest mastermind behind the largest cocaine trafficking ring in the nation’s history.” Amid the charges was that the CIA had allowed the alleged drug trafficker to deal cocaine in exchange for information. According to court documents filed by defense attorneys, the accused drugs trafficker, Harold Rosenthal, was recruited by the CIA to spy on two Columbian Marxist terrorist groups, the M-19s and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Command of Columbia). As (5) Top Secret Writers reported in 2016, an article on Veterans Today (VT) makes claim that the CIA not only supports the Afghanistan drug trafficking, but also designed the “Afghan narcotics economy.” According to VT the Afghan narcotic trade was “one of the reasons for invasion of Afghanistan by the US.” When it comes to the CIA’s involvement in the trafficking of narcotics in support of intelligence efforts, there is certainly many who believe the evidence is there that suggests the CIA has been involved in drugs trafficking to support its work.

Russian TV Redpills Its Citizens About The Global Power Of The Rothschilds

Thursday, November 30 2017

Russian TV Redpills Its Citizens About The Global Power Of The Rothschilds

« Previous - Next » Russian TV Redpills Its Citizens About The Global Power Of The Rothschilds Earlier on this year Channel 1 in Russia made a news broadcast about the Rothschild family and the history of them in using Nazi propaganda along with anti-Semitic caricatures. Rothschild Family Linked To Some Of The Biggest Conspiracy Theories Using Nazi propaganda footage and more so without mention of the Nazi regime is generally unusual in Russian media public broadcasts. However, this time around the broadcast talked about some of the biggest conspiracy theories surrounding the Rothschild family. It also made claims that it is one part of the international Jewish plot to take over the world. The video begins showing an old black and white image of Lord Walter Rothschild at the reins of a cart that is being pulled along by Zebras in Piccadilly in London and it went on to say that he was violating one of his own clan rules. This rule was made by his forefathers and is never forget modesty leads to riches. Rothschild Riches On Show At British Museum Related Articles Russian TV Exposes Rothschilds And The New World Order The riches of a family member of the Rothschild family, Ferdinand Rothschild are on shown at a special gallery located within the British Museum. The collection included precious gems and gold and of course gold is what gave the Rothschild family their fortune and fame. The Rothschild family first started charging interest on the German dukes gold coins, and this was followed by global major bank speculations. They eventually went on to buy up central European banks, and today they have shares in the US Federal Reserve along with many dozens of the big banks around the world. Rothschild Family Is Among Mysterious And Richest Of Families The Rothschild family is one of the richest, not to mention the most mysterious of families in the world. One of the rules of the Rothschild family is to never talk about the assets of the family, and this applies to a court or in a will, and it is a rule that no one up to now has violated. No one really knows just how much the family is really worth and their worth has only ever been based on rumors alone but is said to be about 3.5 trillion dollars. An expert on politicians, Christoph Horstel talked in the documentary about having a colossal influence if you are the richest family in the world and went on say that the Rothschild family understood politics quite perfectly and as such they know what happens. Rothschild Family Nourishes CIA, M16, And ISIS A modern caricature on the video shows that of a sow suckling her piglets and the video goes onto to say that it is a typical caricature. The Rothschild family nourishes the M16, CIA and ISIS. The family has lent money to rival parties over the years, and this is something that began with the war of Napoleon against Austria when they lent money to both Napoleon himself and the Austrian army and earned money back with charging an interest rate. Many films and documentaries have been made over the years, with the first being made in 1940. The motto of the family is whoever has control over the information has control over the world. Related Articles

72 Newly-Discovered Galaxies Changes Odds in Fermi’s Paradox

Thursday, November 30 2017

72 Newly-Discovered Galaxies Changes Odds in Fermi’s Paradox

Google+ “Where is everybody?” That’s the question Enrico Fermi asked his co-workers at the at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1950 as they pondered lunch and why, if there are billions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy older than our Sun with a high probability of having planets similar to Earth, we’ve never had any contact (that they knew of) with other civilizations – advanced or lesser. The question lives on today as the famous Fermi Paradox. “Redo the numbers, Enrico. They just found 72 more galaxies!” If they were alive today, that might his friends’ response to the news that astronomers taking the deepest view of the universe ever have discovered at least 72 more galaxies. Even using conservative estimates, that’s a few trillion more stars and, if they average 8 planets like ours, many trillions more planets, of which a tiny but now larger percentage could hold life. “Where is everybody?” It’s not a puzzle … it’s a paradox. Let’s take the easy answer first. In a press release this week, ESO astronomers announced that they pointed the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on the ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile at a small spot in space known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). Located in the constellation Fornax, it was first observed by the Hubble Space Telescope from September 24, 2003, to January 16, 2004. That data allowed astronomers to look back 13 billion years and, combined with later observations using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), estimate that the small region contained about 10,000 galaxies. Then came MUSE. It was installed on the VTL in 2014 and astronomers used it for about two years (137 hours of telescope time) to further study the HUDF and detect galaxies 100 times dimmer than before that emit Lyman-alpha radiation, an indication that they are extremely distant, young, low-mass galaxies. Seventy-two of these galaxies were counted, with some estimated to have existed just 800 million years after the Big Bang. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field As always with discoveries like these, if there’s one Lyman-alpha emitting galaxy (or in this case, 72), there’s bound to be more, so analysis of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field with the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer will continue, along with planned observations using the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (after delays, it’s expected to be launched in June 2019) and the Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope ( ATLAST ) which is still in the conceptual stage. Back to Fermi’s Paradox. Does it increase the probability of other life forms in the universe? Yes. Does the fact that these newly-found galaxies are close to 13 billion years old mean the life forms will be older and more advanced than us? Older — definitely. More advanced – who knows? If they are, Enrico once again gets the last words: “Where is everybody?” Tags big bang Fermi Paradox Hubble Space Telescope Hubble Ultra Deep Field universe Paul Seaburn Paul Seaburn is one of the most prolific writers at Mysterious Universe. He’s written for TV shows such as “The Tonight Show”, “Politically Incorrect” and an award-winning children’s program. He’s been published in “The New York Times” and “Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn’t always have to be serious. You can follow Paul

Unbelievable VIDEO: This is obviously UFO evidence in SLOVAKIA!

Thursday, November 30 2017

Unbelievable VIDEO: This is obviously UFO evidence in SLOVAKIA!

Unbelievable VIDEO: This is obviously UFO evidence in SLOVAKIA! There was something unusual in our country, which one of the enthusiasts shot at the camera ... Moving in the sky, nothing interesting? Wrong! Occasionally, Urologists have to deal with bizarre videos that are absolutely unclear, even funny. But this is not the case for the next video that has touched the world. They also express themselves in the US. Well, everyone agrees on one, it's UFO . But the question is a lot about him. Embed Code:

5 alternatives to ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ you may not have seen

Friday, December 1 2017

5 alternatives to ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ you may not have seen

Links 5 alternatives to ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ you may not have seen We need new writers! Please contact us if you would like to submit an article for Spooky Isles. Guest writer DR MARK FRYERS takes us to times of Christmas past with these little-known yuletide spookfests! As the nights get shorter and enthusiasts of the supernatural begin to dust off their beloved copies of one of the BBC’s many adaptations of M.R. James , Sheridan Le Fanu and Charles Dicken’s ‘Ghost stories for Christmas’, it is worth remembering that there have been many other televisual evocations of the yuletide tradition. Alongside Robin Redbreast and The Stone Tape, here are five more obscure entries you may want to give a try (if you can track them down). 1. The Blue Boy Screened over the festive period in 1994 on BBC2 and on Masterpiece Theater in the US, this haunting tale of adultery boasts a cast including Eleanor Bron, Emma Thompson and her mother, Phylidia Law. Never screened again, its obscure status is as mysterious and enigmatic as the tale itself. The titular blue boy is a ghost that haunts the environs of a remote hotel and Loch in Scotland, suffusing any photographs taken in the locale with an eerie blue tint. Is the boy just a legend or is it trying to warn the protagonists against catastrophe re-occurring? 2. Christmas Spirits This ITV offering was broadcast on January 1st 1981 and features Elaine Stritch ( Cocoon: The Return ) as a Hollywood location scout looking for an English mansion to feature in a horror film. She is trapped in said house overnight, alongside the creepy dolls in the nursery and other ‘manifestations’. The drama has a strong pedigree – scripted by Willis Hall, who also penned Billy Liar, and produced/directed by June Wyndham-Davies of Pollyanna fame. It is the performance of Stritch, however, as she talks to herself in voiceover during the ordeal, that really provides the narrative thrust. 3. A Child’s Voice A real tour-de-force this one, actually an Irish short film that was broadcast on BBC2 in December 1980. T.P. McKenna stars as a self-aggrandising ‘Man in Black’ style radio storyteller, McCready. One evening he begins recounting the tale of a little boy, a magician’s assistant, who does not wish to be part of the disappearing act. Later that evening, McCready receives a mysterious call from a little boy imploring him not to continue with the tale: “I would prefer it if you would go no further with it”. The arrogant McCready ignores him, and is made to suffer the ultimate punishment. 4. Govan Ghost Story Okay, so this one was not actually screened at Christmas, actually closer to Easter- time in 1989, and formed part of ‘The Play on One’ drama anthology. It was directed by prolific actor Jack Hayman. As such, it tackles weightier themes of bereavement and unemployment in the Glasgow shipbuilding community at Govan. However, it is set at Christmas and features a central character, Jock McGinn (Tom Watson), who is literally and metaphorically haunted by the apparition of a little girl. It swaps the gothic mansion for the council estate but loses nothing in atmosphere and gains everything in grungy realism and poignancy. Read more about Govan Ghost Story. 5. Take the High Road – Millennium Special, 1999 Another curiosity from the Celtic fringes, this is actually a two-part special of the once – popular Scottish soap opera Take the High Road that was broadcast to coincide with the Millennium. It is full of the iconography of the supernatural: nocturnal chases through woods, mysterious, belligerent figures in animal masks and fevered nightmares. Perfectly accessible for the casual viewer, it’s Highland pagan imagery recalls the classic Scottish film The Wicker Man . There we go. If you can locate them, they are well-worth the effort to fulfil your appetite for festive fear! DR MARK FYERS is a Norfolk-based lecturer in film and television, who specialises in British media history. He has written and presented on many aspects of gothic and supernatural culture and has a special interest in the gothic maritime, and the maritime sphere’s connection to British national identity. He has been fascinated with the supernatural from an early age. His twitter account is @markfryers1 and his website is https://markfryersbritfilm.wordpress.com/ Dec 1, 2017 Guest Writer

Celebrating Killer Colton Christmas from #HarlequinRomanticSuspense

Friday, December 1 2017

Celebrating Killer Colton Christmas from #HarlequinRomanticSuspense

Celebrating Killer Colton Christmas from #HarlequinRomanticSuspense Posted on Today is the digital release day for Killer Colton Christmas! (Paperback will be on shelves next week and officially available on December 5th!) This is a special 2 novellas in one book from Harlequin Romantic Suspense. About the Book The Coltons of Shadow Creek series comes to a shocking Christmas climax in two heart-pounding stories Special Agent Cowboy by Regan Black When hackers strike Colton, Inc., they put executive Marie Meyers in their crosshairs. FBI agent Emiliano Ortega is charged with protecting the beautiful city girl on his ranch. But keeping their mutual attraction professional under the mistletoe is impossible… The Marine’s Christmas Case by Lara Lacombe When Dario Ortega meets Felicity Grant, the lovely marine-turned-PI spurns his advances. Instead, Dario offers his tech expertise to help Felicity solve the Colton, Inc., hacking. Working the case together softens Felicity’s steely heart and makes Dario rethink bachelorhood. But can they catch a killer Colton in time for Christmas? Click here to read an excerpt of Special Agent Cowboy! And be sure to pick up your copy Killer Colton Christmas today at Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo or your favorite bookseller. I happily slipped down the research rabbit hole time and again when it came to understanding the beauty of the Texas Hill Country as well as ferreting out details for Emilano’s corgi, Scrabble. Be sure to join Lara and I on Facebook on December 1st for release day contests and fun!

Hallucination Machine May Make Magic Mushrooms Obsolete

Friday, December 1 2017

Hallucination Machine May Make Magic Mushrooms Obsolete

Google+ Given the options, would you prefer your hallucinations to be natural or artificially induced? That choice may be available sooner than you think. A British research group has developed a so-called ‘Hallucination Machine’ that pairs virtual reality headsets (no surprise there) with a modified version of Google’s DeepDream algorithm (not Google again – are they involved in everything?) for the alleged noble purpose of studying how the brain differentiates between reality and hallucinations in order to artificially induce them without drugs. The researchers are already testing the headsets by having college students wear them while walking around campus (the line of volunteers was probably a mile long). What could possibly go wrong? “We’re hallucinating all the time. It’s just that when we agree about our hallucinations, we call that reality.” That interesting concept was presented in a TED talk by Professor Anil Seth, who is the co-director of the University of Sussex’s Sackler Centre where the research took place. To develop the VR hallucinations, the group fed panoramic videos of nature scenes into the algorithm. Deep Dream then searched for patterns in the viewing field of the volunteers that it could enhance with the videos. The technique is similar to pareidolia, where the mind takes a fuzzy image and matches it to a known one, such as when a person looks at a piece of burnt toast and sees a picture of Abraham Lincoln. Does that sound like hallucinations? The results, published in the journal Scientific Reports, say yes and no. In one experiment, 12 volunteers saw patterns become views of their campus and their responses to questions about the images, loss of control and loss of sense of self matched the responses of another group describing the effects of taking psilocybin mushrooms. In the second experiment, after watching DeepDream visualizations, the participants said they did not experience time distortion, which is a common side effect of psilocybin and other psychedelics. One of the benefits of this hallucination machine is that it allows the researchers to control what hallucinations a person sees and, since all of them see the same ones, compare how different brains react to them. By accident, many of the panoramic videos used had dogs in them, resulting in a lot of canine hallucinations. Kind of like eating mushrooms before going to a dog show without getting kicked out for barking incessantly (or so I’ve heard). The researchers say they’re a long way from replicating mushroom or LSD hallucinations, but they’re moving ahead and will get there before long. Would you strap yourself into a hallucination machine and take a walk around a college campus? Your city? A strange place? This requires a tremendous amount of trust in whoever is programming your hallucinations. Would you trust Google? Do you trust Google Maps? Would you consider programming your own hallucinations? Do you really know how to expand your own mind? If all of the people wearing the hallucination machine have the same hallucination, does it become reality? Tags Googe hallucination magic mushrooms psilocybin psychology Science technology virtual reality Paul Seaburn Paul Seaburn is one of the most prolific writers at Mysterious Universe. He’s written for TV shows such as “The Tonight Show”, “Politically Incorrect” and an award-winning children’s program. He’s been published in “The New York Times” and “Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn’t always have to be serious. You can follow Paul