Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

Aug 26, 2015


Posted by in categories: entertainment, neuroscience

LISTENING, the award-winning debut feature from visionary director Khalil Sullins, is a psychological thriller about penniless grad students who invent mind-reading technology that destroys their lives. David, Ryan, and Jordan hope the telepathy invention will solve all their problems, but the bleeding-edge technology opens a Pandora’s box of new dangers, as the team discovers that when they open their minds, there is nowhere to hide their thoughts. Secrets and betrayals surface, and the technology is stolen by a covert government agency with a hidden agenda. With no one left to trust, David is forced against his friends in a life-or-death battle over not only the privacy of the human mind, but the future of free will itself.

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Aug 25, 2015

Our brains didn’t evolve to deal with understanding exponential growth

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, singularity

Our brains didn’t evolve to deal with understanding exponential growth, it’s freaking terrifying.

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Aug 23, 2015

IBM Scientists Advance Toward Brain-Like Computing, Develop ‘Digital Mouse Brain’

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, information science, neuroscience, robotics/AI

But the ultimate goals of the project are nothing short of amazing: “The best possible outcome is to map the entirety of existing cache of neural network algorithms and applications to this energy-efficient substrate,” said Modha. “And, to invent entirely new algorithms that were hereto before impossible to imagine.”

IBM scientists are advancing toward “neuromorphic” computing — digital systems that process information like the brain — and launching a complete ecosystem for brain-like computing, with important near-term applications and visionary long-term prospects.

“For decades, computer scientists have been pursuing two elusive goals in parallel: engineering energy-efficient computers modeled on the human brain and designing smart computing systems that learn on their own — like humans do — and are not programmed like today’s computers,” said Dharmendra S. Modha, IBM Fellow and Chief Scientist for brain-inspired computing.

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Aug 22, 2015


Posted by in categories: computing, entertainment, neuroscience, singularity

Within the coming decades we’ll have the ability to create computers with greater than human intelligence, bio-engineer our species and redesign matter through nanotechnology, what will it mean to be human? Acclaimed as “a large-scale achievement in its documentation of futurist and counter-futurist ideas” and “the best documentary on the Singularity to date,” THE SINGULARITY is rich with insight, while remaining accessible to mainstream audiences. Some of the world’s leading thinkers, futurists and counter-futurists are interviewed, including Ray Kurzweil, Leon Panetta, Bill McKibben and Richard A. Clarke. THE SINGULARITY is an engaging tool for critical thinking about future technologies.

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Aug 22, 2015

Rise Of The Organoids: Miniature Human Brain Most Complete To Date

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, life extension, neuroscience

As regenerative medicine expands, our ability to engineer organs is growing with it. Researchers can now grow a number of so called ‘organoids’ — mini-organs which can teach us more about developmental biology and enable vastly improved testing. In the latest addition to the bunch, a team from Ohio State University has successfully engineered the most complete model yet of a human brain, with a similar maturity to a 5 week old fetus.

Containing 99% of the genes present in the human fetal brain, and about the size of an eraser, the organoid was developed from transformed adult human skin. This method could allow more ethical and precise clinical trials, both speeding up and enabling more rigorous, personalized testing. As animal testing frequently fails to predict varied human responses, these organoid models offer an alternative approach which could revolutionize clinical trial methodology.

“It not only looks like the developing brain, its diverse cell types express nearly all genes like a brain. We’ve struggled for a long time trying to solve complex brain disease problems that cause tremendous pain and suffering. The power of this brain model bodes very well for human health because it gives us better and more relevant options to test and develop therapeutics other than rodents.”

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Aug 22, 2015

Alzheimer’s Disease: Is It Time To Look Beyond Amyloid?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

While billions have now been spent on researching dementia in its various forms, progress is still limited and the underlying triggers are still not clear. The majority of research over the past 30 years has revolved around targeting the amyloid plaques that build up in the disease, but this has resulted in limited success. Is it time to focus resources on other hypotheses instead?

The real problem with tackling these conditions is the sheer complexity of the brain and biology. Research is usually a trial and error process filled with intelligent guesswork, but this means it can often take a great deal of time to establish what’s actually going wrong. The cause or effect conundrum is a significant roadblock in research and working out which aspects drive a disease and which are a result of another malfunction can take serious resources and time. When researchers first began analysing Alzheimer’s patients, perhaps the most obvious feature was the now famous amyloid plaque, but while amyloid may seem like a clear culprit because it’s so clearly out of place, it could easily be a smokescreen; the reason why it appears at all may be far more relevant than the plaque itself.

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Aug 20, 2015

This narcolepsy ‘smart drug’ makes ordinary people smarter

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

A medication called modafinil is commonly used to treat people who experience narcolepsy, but it’s suspected that the vast majority of those who use the drug are taking it for another purpose that isn’t medically authorised: as a general cognitive enhancer for tasks such as studying or meeting a deadline.

Now a comprehensive review of the medication has looked at this ‘off licence’ use of the drug by healthy, non-sleep-deprived subjects to determine whether modafinil is safe – and to confirm whether the belief that it acts as a general-purpose ‘smart drug’ is grounded in reality.

According to researchers from the University of Oxford in the UK and Harvard Medical School in the US, modafinil delivers on both counts, constituting what’s thought to be the first safe smart drug that can provide demonstrable cognitive and concentration benefits. Brainpower in a pill, in other words.

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Aug 20, 2015

Scientists successfully grow human brain equivalent to 5-week-old foetus in the lab

Posted by in categories: chemistry, neuroscience

Growing brain tissue in a dish has been done before, but bold new research announced this week shows that scientists’ ability to create human brains in laboratory settings has come a long way quickly.

Researchers at the Ohio State University in the US claim to have developed the most complete laboratory-grown human brain ever, creating a model with the brain maturity of a 5-week-old foetus. The brain, which is approximately the size of a pencil eraser, contains 99 percent of the genes that would be present in a natural human foetal brain.

“It not only looks like the developing brain, its diverse cell types express nearly all genes like a brain,” Rene Anand, professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology at Ohio State and lead researcher on the brain model, said in a statement.

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Aug 20, 2015

How young blood might help reverse aging. Yes, really

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

Tony Wyss-Coray studies the impact of aging on the human body and brain. In this eye-opening talk, he shares new research from his Stanford lab and other teams which shows that a solution for some of the less great aspects of old age might actually lie within us all.

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Aug 19, 2015

First Near-Fully Formed Brain Grown In Lab, Ohio State Scientists Say

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Scientists at Ohio State University say they’ve grown the first near-complete human brain in a lab.

The brain organoid, if licensed for commercial lab use, could help speed research for neurological diseases and disorders, like Alzheimer’s and autism, Rene Anand, an Ohio State professor who worked on the project, said in a statement Tuesday.

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