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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

May 6, 2016

A New Device Stimulates The Brain To Boost Athletic Performance — By Christina Farr | Fast Company

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience

3058464-poster-p-1-the-halo-effect

“Daniel Chao, a Stanford-trained neuroscientist, and Brett Wingeier, a biomedical engineer, founded Halo Neuroscience in 2013. … Halo Sport uses electrodes to stimulate the brain’s motor cortex, which controls planning and voluntary movements. Energized motor neurons send stronger signals to athletes’ muscles, which Chao says allows them to reap greater rewards from every rep.”

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May 5, 2016

Gene cascade specifies two distinct neuron sets expressing Nplp1

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience

A study of the embryonic nervous system of the fruit fly throws light on how two neuronal cell lineages that develop at different times and in different places in the ventral nerve cord of the embryo can ultimately result in very similar neuronal subtypes. The study, publishing in the Open Access journal PLOS Biology on 5th May, is a collaboration between research teams in Madrid (Spain) and Linköping (Sweden).

In the paper, Hugo Gabilondo, Johannes Stratmann and their colleagues report that a crucial terminal selector gene, col, is activated by different sets of spatio-temporal selector genes in the two different neuronal cell lineages. In dAp neurons, which are present throughout the thorax and abdominal segments, col is activated directly by the action of the early temporal genes Kruppel (Kr) and pdm, and the GATA transcription factor gene grain (grn). By contrast, in Tv1 neurons, which are specific to the thoracic segments, col is activated by the late temporal gene cas, together with several other genes that feed forward onto the terminal selector gene cascade downstream of col. The result is expression of the neuropeptide Nplp1 in both dAp and Tv1 neurons.

The developing generates many different neuronal cell types; understanding this process of cell fate specification remains a major challenge for biologists. Complex cascades of regulatory genes are known to be involved, starting with spatial and temporal selector genes and finishing with terminal selector genes, all of which act in various combinations to dictate the ultimate neuronal cell type. A particular type often arises in several parts of the nervous system and at different stages of development, however, suggesting that different spatio-temporal cues can converge on the same terminal selectors to generate a similar cell fate. This study reports evidence of this phenomenon in an example from the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

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May 5, 2016

Animal study shows flexible, dissolvable silicon device promising for brain monitoring

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Nice.

May 5, 2016

Use Your Brain. Ditch Your Fitness Tracker

Posted by in categories: health, neuroscience, wearables

Interesting approach.


If you’re at all interested in your health, it’s likely you’ve joined the 20 percent of Americans who’ve incorporated fitness trackers into their daily ensemble. From monitoring steps and daily activity to sleep, an ever-growing number of devices are tracking and analyzing our body’s data in an effort to make us better.

But how good is this tracking? Despite noble intentions, the scientific reality is that much of the data these trackers provide is insufficient and inaccurate — and in turn, are not as effective as they promise.

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May 5, 2016

Humans Are Fatter Than Primates, But It Fuels Our Bigger Brains

Posted by in categories: energy, food, neuroscience

Left hemisphere of J. Piłsudski’s brain, lateral view.

A new study has found that a faster metabolism is the main reason that humans were able to evolve bigger brains than other closely related apes. Humans burned 635 more calories per day than gorillas, and a whopping 820 more calories per day than the orangutans in the study.

Although the study findings seem promising, more research on the issue is required since the research was performed only on adults.

Continue reading “Humans Are Fatter Than Primates, But It Fuels Our Bigger Brains” »

May 5, 2016

Unmanned robot surgery works in pig trial

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Here is the real challenge to ask the average parent or grandparent on the street: are you willing to allow your 5 year old child or grandchild to have a brain tumor removed by an autonomous robot without any trained & experienced surgeon or nurse supervision?


An unmanned robot has been used to stitch together a pig’s bowel, moving science a step closer to automated surgery, say experts.

Unlike existing machines, the Star robot is self-controlled — it doesn’t need to be guided by a surgeon’s hands.

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May 4, 2016

Our brain suppresses perception related to heartbeat, for our own good

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

An interesting and important twist for researchers studying the replication of the brain and thought processes in computers.


Researchers have discovered that the human brain suppresses the sensory effects of the heartbeat. They believe that this mechanism prevents internal sensations from interfering with the brain’s perception of the external world. This mechanism could also have something to do with anxiety disorders.

May 4, 2016

Laser Brain Cancer Treatment May Offer Extra Advantage

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

Neurosurgeons using lasers to treat brain cancer have discovered that the technique breaks down the blood-brain barrier, a finding that could lead to new treatment options for patients with the deadly disease.

The blood-brain barrier is sort of a natural “security system” that shields the brain from toxins in the blood but also blocks potentially helpful drugs such as those used in chemotherapy.

“We were able to show that this blood-brain barrier is broken down for about four weeks after you do this laser therapy,” said Dr. Eric Leuthardt, a professor of neurosurgery at Washington University in St. Louis. “So not only are you killing the tumor, you are actually opening up a window of opportunity to deliver various drugs and chemicals and therapies that could otherwise not get there.”

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May 4, 2016

Breaking down brain barriers to fight cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Nice


Neurosurgeons using lasers to treat brain cancer have discovered the technique breaks down the blood-brain barrier, a finding that could potentially lead to new treatment options for the deadly disease. Ben Gruber reports.

May 3, 2016

The recently created World’s tiniest engine can enter living cells

Posted by in categories: entertainment, neuroscience

No longer in the movies.


Specific regions of the brain are specialized in recognizing bodies of animals and human beings. By measuring the electrical activity per cell, scientists from KU Leuven, Belgium, and the University of Glasgow have shown that the individual brain cells in these areas do different things. Their response to specific contours or body shapes is very selective.

Facial recognition has already been the subject of much research. But what happens when we cannot recognize an animal or a human being on the basis of a face, but only have other body parts to go on? The mechanism behind this recognition process is uncharted territory for neuroscientists, says Professor Rufin Vogels of the KU Leuven Laboratory for Neuro- and Psychophysiology.

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