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7 amazing discoveries about the human body made in 2019


Source: tells us that experts in the field of anatomy, chemistry and genetics told us.


1. We have a "pain organ."

Scientists continue to discover completely new organs that are unknown to medicine. In this case, a network of cells was discovered inside the skin, whose function is to feel pain.

Contrary to the generally accepted idea that nerve endings are responsible for the feeling of pain, the study shows that these nerves are enveloped by a previously unknown type of cells that respond to pain stimuli, and it is they who feel pain, creating a sensory organ under the outer layer of the skin. This discovery can have important implications for treating chronic pain disorders.

2. The brain controls what to listen in the crowd.

Indeed, how can our brain focus on what a person is saying at a noisy party or in a restaurant?

This discovery could lead to advances in hearing aid technology. Scientists have found out exactly how the brain decides which sounds to focus on and which ones to disconnect from perception.

“We studied well how different parts of our auditory cortex are involved in solving this complex cognitive problem,” says Nima Mesgarani, Ph.D., neuroengineer at the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University.

3. The brain can adapt to the presence of the sixth finger.

This study involved two people with six fingers, this is called polydactyly. Contrary to suspicions, it turned out that they do not suffer from motor impairment, but, on the contrary, possess additional abilities and skills in terms of manipulating objects. The brain of such people has learned to use and control the extra finger in their own interests.

“This makes their manipulations extremely versatile and skillful,” says Karsten Mehring, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology and neurotechnology. “For example, in our experiments, subjects could perform the task with one hand, for which we usually need two hands.” The results obtained are useful for the development of prosthetic technology.

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4. White blood cells help form gallstones.

Doctors have long known what gallstones are made of - cholesterol and calcium salts. But what glues them together was unknown.

“We learned that white blood cells are responsible for the accumulation of crystalline matter in the gallbladder,” says Martin Herrmann, Ph.D., an immunologist at the University Hospital Erlangen. “Knowing this process opens up new options for the treatment of recurrent gallstone disease in the future.”

5. People can smell even without the olfactory region of the brain.

The olfactory bulb is a brain structure that has always been thought to be responsible for processing odors.

A recent study, however, showed that subjects without an anatomically defined olfactory bulb still had excellent sense of smell.

“The exact reason some people can smell without an olfactory bulb is still unknown,” says Dr. Weiss. “It is possible that the brain creates a“ map ”of odors and continues to use it.”

6. Bodies move one year after death.

As a result of the study, which used slow motion, it was found that the bodies of the dead continue to move throughout the year after death.

“I expected to see some movements in the early stages of decomposition, such as when the abdominal cavity was swollen,” said Alison Wilson, a forensic investigator at Central University of Queensland. “But the study showed that all limbs of the body continued to move throughout the entire 16-month study.” This was an unexpected discovery, and the number of movements was amazing! For example, hands located right next to the body could completely move to the side. "

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7. DNA is just one of many genetic molecules in the body.

We know that DNA is the building blocks of the human body. You may also have heard of RNA, another nucleic acid that helps the process of coding genes. However, scientists have discovered more than a million variants that could play a role in heredity if evolution had not chosen DNA as the main genetic molecule. Other molecules, however, may offer a new genetic cure for disease. And also call into question the evolution of life, as we know it.

“It's interesting to think about alternative genetic systems,” says Jay Goodwin, PhD in Biology at Emory University. “Perhaps they could have arisen and developed in another environment, or even on other planets or moons in our solar system.”

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