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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

May 26, 2015

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Selects 2015 Investigators

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, computing, DNA, education, genetics, life extension, neuroscience, science, scientific freedom

“The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced today that 26 of the nation’s top biomedical researchers will become HHMI investigators and will receive the flexible support necessary to move their research in creative new directions. The initiative represents an investment in basic biomedical research of $153 million over the next five years.”

HHMI Selects 26 of the Nation’s Top Biomedical Scientists

May 24, 2015

Neuroscientists Are Making an Artificial Brain for Everyone — Davey Alba | WIRED

Posted by in category: neuroscience

“Nara is essentially a matchmaking system that finds and understands entities in any data set, from people and places to businesses and abstract concepts, then builds a massive knowledge graph that shows weighted links between those entities. Wilson says Nara inserts users right into that knowledge graph to offer personalized recommendations. Knowing a bit about the user is what allows Nara to light up other things they might like. And the system can scrape public databases to enhance its knowledge.”

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May 21, 2015

The Ultimate Interface: Your Brain — By Ramez Naam SingularityHub

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The final frontier of digital technology is integrating into your own brain. DARPA wants to go there. Scientists want to go there. Entrepreneurs want to go there. And increasingly, it looks like it’s possible.

You’ve probably read bits and pieces about brain implants and prostheses. Let me give you the big picture. Read more

May 18, 2015

A First Big Step Toward Mapping the Human Brain — Katie Palmer | Wired

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Electrophysiological data collected from neurons in the mouse visual cortex forms the basis for the Allen Institute's Cell Type Database.

“When it’s complete, the database will be the first in the world to collect information from individual cells along four basic but crucial variables: cell shape, gene expression, position in the brain, and electrical activity. ” Read more

Apr 26, 2015

Digital tattoo lets you control devices with mind power alone

Posted by in categories: media & arts, neuroscience

Hal Hodson | New Scientisthttp://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/mg22630182.200/mg22630182.200-1_300.jpg
“The focus is on medical applications to begin with…but the fact that it can sit discreetly behind an ear means that all kinds of other applications are feasible. No one wants to wear a headset constantly, but applying a hidden electronic tattoo once every two weeks is more acceptable.” Read more

Apr 14, 2015

When criminal law meets neuroscience

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Robert Szczerba | The Next Web


“‘Seeking the truth is at once the most fundamental and the most difficult task of the criminal justice system.’” Read more

Apr 1, 2015

Can We Harness Telepathy for Moral Good?

Posted by in category: neuroscience

— Aeonhttp://imageserver.moviepilot.com/-4e9858d4-d18c-4a73-b2d9-6d9303aab4a1.jpeg?width=1560&height=866

Every modern generation has had its own idiosyncratic obsession with telepathy, the hope that one human being might be able to read another person’s thoughts. In the late 19th century, when spiritualism was in vogue, mind-reading was a parlour game for the fashionable, and the philosopher William James considered telepathy and other psychic phenomena legitimate subjects of study for the new science of psychology. By the 1960s, the Pentagon was concerned about Soviet telepathy research and reports that they had established remote communications with submarine commanders. In the 1970s, one ambitious Apollo 14 astronaut took it upon himself to try broadcasting his brainwaves from the moon.

In our technologically obsessed era, the search for evidence of psychic communication has been replaced by a push to invent computerised telepathy machines. Just last year, an international team of neurobiologists in Spain, France and at Harvard ­set up systems that linked one brain to another and permitted two people to communicate using only their thoughts. The network was basically one massive kludge, including an electroencephalography cap to detect the sender’s neural activity, computer algorithms to transform neural signals into data that could be sent through the internet and, at the receiving end, a transcranial magnetic stimulation device to convert that data into magnetic pulses that cross another person’s skull and activate certain clusters of neurons with an electrical field. With this contraption, the researchers were able to send a signal of 140 bits (the word ‘ciao’) from one person’s brain to another.Read more

Mar 3, 2015

The elastic brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Rebecca Boyle — aeon

Five years ago, in a new city and in search of a new hobby, I decided to try playing a musical instrument for the first time. I had never learned to read music; in my grade school, the optional orchestra class was offered at the same time as the optional robotics class, and I chose the latter. Understanding nothing about chords or music theory, I settled on the relatively simple mountain dulcimer, a three-stringed lap instrument from Appalachia.

I was proud of how quickly I picked it up. I could replicate many of the old-time fiddle tunes, Civil War ballads and Ozark folk songs my instructor played during demonstrations, and I learned to discern notes by ear. I was hardly a virtuoso, however, and after a few months I hit a plateau. I could hear how they were supposed to sound, but challenging, faster-tempo songs remained out of my grasp. Frustrated, I distinctly remember thinking: ‘If only I’d learned music as a kid, I might have been great at this.’
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Feb 21, 2015

The Coming Boom In Brain Medicines

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Matthew Herper Forbes

TONY COLES COULD have had any job he wanted in the drug industry. In five years at the helm of cancer drug developer Onyx Pharmaceuticals he increased its market cap eightfold by purchasing an experimental blood cancer drug for $800 million, developing it into a big seller and flipping the whole company to Amgen AMGN +1.01% for $10.4 billion in October 2013. He personally made $60 million on the deal. Biotech watchers expected him to start another cancer company or even command a drug giant like Merck or Pfizer PFE –0.29%.

Instead, Coles, 54, is using his own money to build a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup called Yumanity that is using yeast, the microbes that help make bread and beer, to study how misfolded proteins in the brain cause Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease and Parkinson’s, and to create drugs based on that knowledge. There’s already interest from Big Pharma. Coles says he chose to attack brain diseases, not tumors, because the need is so dire and the science is so fresh.

“We’ve got 50 million people around the world who have these diseases, costing $650 billion a year, and lots of families like mine that have been affected,” says Coles. “I had a grandmother who died of the complications of Alzheimer’s disease. I think about my own health as well.”

Continue reading “The Coming Boom In Brain Medicines” »


Feb 13, 2015

USC neuroscientists lead global ENIGMA consortium to crack brain’s genetic code

Posted by in category: neuroscience

USC Press Room
http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/Unknown-2.084640-e1421863825851.jpeg

LOS ANGELES — In the largest collaborative study of the brain to date, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) led a global consortium of 190 institutions to identify eight common genetic mutations that appear to age the brain an average of three years. The discovery could lead to targeted therapies and interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, autism and other neurological conditions.

An international team of roughly 300 scientists known as the Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta Analysis (ENIGMA) Network pooled brain scans and genetic data worldwide to pinpoint genes that enhance or break down key brain regions in people from 33 countries. This is the first high-profile study since the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched its Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) centers of excellence in 2014. The research was published Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the peer-reviewed journal Nature.
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