Your brain 'wiggles' a little with every heartbeat

Looking for a heartbeat? Advances in the MRI field can now show you.

The human heartbeat. Pretty much everyone has one, and many kickass songs have been written about its existence. It may come to you as a surprise, then, that your heart and brain are currently doing something you didn't know it was doing before: dancing together with every heartbeat.

Well, it's more of a wiggle. And it's hardly Mambo Number 5. . . it's a very slight wiggle. Barely detectable, but happens when cerebrospinal fluid gets pumped up the spine. Take a look for yourself, thanks to researchers at the University of Auckland and Stanford University:

University of Auckland, Stanford University

It's detected by a special MRI called amplified MRI, that can show the movement better than regular MRIs can. Researchers could use this data on the brain wiggling to help create better helmets, and even go as far to potentially spot future aneurysms.

Cardiac gating during MRIs is nothing new, but amplified MRIs take what is cardiac gating tries to avoid (i.e., and I'm paraphrasing HUGELY here, but cardiac gating is done to prevent a blurred MRI) and record the full thing in detail. Still want another analogy? Regular MRIs are 480p resolution, and amplified MRIs are 4K.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Afghanistan is the most depressed country on earth

No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
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Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
  • Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
  • Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
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  • Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
  • It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
  • Some claimed 'Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.