Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The first 5 seconds

So for the past few days one of the experiments I have been performing on myself is trying to see if it is possible to teach myself to think of two different things at the same time. Sounds crazy huh? We can teach our bodies and minds so many different things what makes it impossible to think that we cannot follow two different trains of thought at the same time? Wasn't there a time when you thought that algebra was impossible? Or maybe learning to juggle a ball with your foot like Ronaldinho. I have spent about 10 -15 minutes each day practicing for the past week. I have tried a few techniques such as trying to write from 1 to 10 with one hand and A-Z with the other, read and write at the same time, focus my attention on something such as a memory task (I use Memory Trainer which by the way also shows me how badly my brain functions the next day after a late night at the bar). So I video recorded myself using my laptop to see if I could find reasons why my brain quit focusing on both tasks. The interesting thing... I always lost my concentration after ~3-5 seconds repeatedly. When I was reading a book and writing the alphabet always around the letter F. Sometimes I would write the letter 'F' twice or sometimes I would skip 'E' or 'G' but the initial lose of focus always happened around this time. But for the first three seconds I could read coherently and write coherently. I wonder if the brain takes ~3 seconds to initially begin focusing on a task? or it is just the nature of the experiment? I wonder if other people experience the same thing. Try it and let me know!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More thoughts on Water

Well I have been still messing around with the water box simulation and found that 200mM NaCl is not sufficient enough to have large disturbing effects on the water. It is fairly obvious that the effects are largest when two ions of the same charge i.e. negative-negative or positive-positive are near each other you have the biggest effect because waters are trying to align the same way to interact with both i.e. hydrogens near the negative or oxygen near the positive. The concentration of positively charged ions in the cell is ~150mM but this is not including all the other mess of proteins and stuff. Here is an interesting thing I found "Calcium concentration microdomains". I mean if there are in fact microdomains of different ions I think around 300-400mM would be sufficient concentration to start to really mess up the local water structure. I mean empirically we know that ions can help neutralize charges on proteins that can prevent aggregation or other bullshit. But do the ions actually have a significant enough effect to significantly change the thermodynamic equilibrium of a protein and is this change due to water? Things to contemplate.