Nikola Tesla’s on 158th!

DAMASCUS ROOF AND TALES OF PARADISE سقف دمشق و حكايات الجنة from Soudade Kaadan on Vimeo.

Year of production 2010

In Syria, there’s a rich tradition of storytelling, fables passed from grandparents to grandchildren.
Within the old city of Damascus, as modernization changes the familiar landscape of the ancient town, so the danger that these stories, cherished and passed down through generations, will vanish amidst the rubble and disruption of the new city taking shape…

- Winner of MUHR ARAB DOCUMENTARY/ the second prize in Dubai Film Festival 2010- UAE
- Winner of TRT International Documentary Film Award- Special prize from ministry of culture and Arts. Turkey 2011
- Winner of “Mediterranean Art, Heritage and Culture” prize at The PriMed, International Festival for Mediterranean Documentary and Current Affair film-PRIMED-FRANCE

"I was fascinated to see similarities between the pattern of brain activity in a psychedelic state and the pattern of brain activity during dream sleep, especially as both involve the primitive areas of the brain linked to emotions and memory. People often describe taking psilocybin as producing a dreamlike state and our findings have, for the first time, provided a physical representation for the experience in the brain." Learning about the mechanisms that underlie what happens under the influence of psychedelic drugs can also help to understand their possible uses. We are currently studying the effect of LSD on creative thinking and we will also be looking at the possibility that psilocybin may help alleviate symptoms of depression by allowing patients to change their rigidly pessimistic patterns of thinking. Psychedelics were used for therapeutic purposes in the 1950’s and 1960’s but now we are finally beginning to understand their action in the brain and how this can inform how to put them to good use.

For the first time, researchers computed the level of entropy for different networks in the brain during the psychedelic state. This revealed a remarkable increase in entropy in the more primitive network, indicating there was an increased number of patterns of activity that were possible under the influence of psilocybin. It seemed the volunteers had a much larger range of potential brain states that were available to them, which may be the biophysical counterpart of ‘mind expansion’ reported by users of.



(…) We have identified transcription factors, which purified neural and oligodendrocyte progenitors, capable of regulating oligodendrocyte progenitor fate and establish that among these, only SOX10 was capable of comprehensively inducing oligodendrocyte fate both in vitro and following transplantation into a model of human leukodystrophy. Thus, viral and pharmacologic approaches to increasing SOX10 expression likely will improve the outcome of human transplant therapy.

Related publication:

“This is the first time anyone has shown that nanopores can be used to generate interpretable signatures corresponding to very long DNA sequences from real-world genomes,” said co-author Jay Shendure, a UW associate professor of genome sciences whose lab develops applications of genome sequencing technologies.  “It’s a major step forward.”

UW researcher used the nanopore Mycobacterium smegmatis porin A (MspA). This bacterial pore has been genetically altered so that the narrowest part of the channel has a diameter of about a nanometer, or 1 billionth of a meter. This is large enough for a single strand of DNA to pass through. The modified nanopore is then inserted into a membrane separating two salt solutions to create a channel connecting the two solutions.
To read a sequence of DNA with this system, a small voltage is applied across the membrane to make the ions of the salt solution flow through the nanopore. The ion flow creates a measurable current. If a strand of DNA is added to the solution on one side of the membrane and then enters a pore, the bulky DNA molecules will impede the flow of the much smaller ion and thereby alter the current. How much the current changes depends on which nucleotides — the individual molecules adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine that make up the DNA chain — are inside the pore. Detecting changes in current can reveal which nucleotides are passing through the nanopore’s channel at any given instant.