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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

Oct 18, 2018

CRISPR heals genetic liver disorder in mice

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

Researchers healed mice with a genetic metabolic disorder that also affects humans by using a new editing tool to target and correct genetic mutations.

Some babies are born with the metabolic disorder phenylketonuria and need a special diet so that the amino acid phenylalanine doesn’t accumulate in the body. Excess phenylalanine delays mental and motor development. If left untreated, the children may develop mental disabilities.

The cause of this metabolic disorder is a mutation in a gene that provides the blueprint for the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (Pah). The enzyme, which is produced by the cells of the liver, metabolizes phenylalanine.

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Oct 17, 2018

Stephen Hawking´s words from beyond the grave bring tears to

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Speaking from beyond the grave, Professor Stephen Hawking has told a new generation growing up in an increasingly insular world: ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.’

The eminent cosmologist, who had motor neurone disease and died in March, had his final public thoughts broadcast at a special event to launch his last book, Brief Answers To The Big Questions.

Prof Hawking’s words of advice and defiance, echoing from an Imax screen at London’s Science Museum, brought tears to the eyes of his daughter Lucy.

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Oct 17, 2018

What can neuroscience tell us about ethics?

Posted by in categories: ethics, neuroscience

Today on The Neuroethics Blog is a post by Adina L. Roskies, Professor of Philosophy and chair of the Cognitive Science Program and Helman Family Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth College, entitled “What can neuroscience tell us about ethics?”


By Adina L. Roskies Image courtesy of Bill Sanderson, Wellcome Collection What can neuroscience tell us about ethics? Some say nothing – ethics is a normative discipline that concerns the way the world should be, while neuroscience is normatively insignificant: it is a descriptive science which tells us about the way the world is. This seems in line with what is sometimes called “Hume’s Law”, the claim that one cannot derive an ought from an is (Cohon, 2018). This claim is contentious and its scope unclear, but it certainly does seem true of demonstrative arguments, at the least. Neuroethics, by its name, however, seems to suggest that neuroscience is relevant for ethical thought, and indeed some have taken it to be a fact that neuroscience has delivered ethical consequences. It seems to me that there is some confusion about this issue, and so here I’d like to clarify the ways in which I think neuroscience can be relevant to ethics.

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Oct 16, 2018

Coalition says new autism guidelines won’t affect NDIS access

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

Fletcher told the ABC the guidelines were developed in consultation with people living with autism, researchers and doctors, and had been approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“It does not change what the NDIS does and indeed it may well be that there are people who, today, would not be diagnosed who will be diagnosed,” he said. “That will be a judgment for clinicians and medical profession and the NDIS will continue to do what it does, which is make an assessment of the impairment that somebody suffers as a result of a disability. Is it likely to be permanent and lifelong? Is it significant? What impact does it have on the functioning?”

Dr Wenn Lawson, the co-chair of the Australian Autism Research Council, said a consistent assessment and diagnosis process for autism meant people would be able to access more appropriate supports.

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Oct 16, 2018

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dead at 65

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Some of Allen’s philanthropy has taken a scientific bent: Allen founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003, pouring $500 million into the non-profit that aims to give scientists the tools and data they need to probe how brain works. One recent project, the Allen Brain Observatory, provides an open-access “catalogue of activity in the mouse’s brain,” Saskia de Vries, senior scientist on the project, said in a video. That kind of data is key to piecing together how the brain processes information.


Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died today from complications with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65. Allen said earlier this month that he was being treated for the disease.

Allen was a childhood friend of Bill Gates, and together, the two started Microsoft in 1975. He left the company in 1983 while being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and remained a board member with the company through 2000. He was first treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009, before seeing it go into remission.

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Oct 15, 2018

Stephen Hawking´s words from beyond the grave bring…

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Speaking from beyond the grave, Professor Stephen Hawking has told a new generation growing up in an increasingly insular world: ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.’

The eminent cosmologist, who had motor neurone disease and died in March, had his final public thoughts broadcast at a special event to launch his last book, Brief Answers To The Big Questions.

Continue reading “Stephen Hawking´s words from beyond the grave bring…” »

Oct 15, 2018

Spontaneous genetic mutations in the womb may drive the majority of dementia cases

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

New research, led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, suggests spontaneous DNA mutations that occur when a baby’s brain is growing in the womb may help explain why so many people develop dementia without having any prior family history with the disease.

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Oct 13, 2018

A nano stress reliever for sepsis

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, neuroscience, particle physics

A peroxide scavenger nanoparticle reduces systemic inflammation in mouse models.

With 19 million cases per year worldwide, sepsis is one of the most life-threatening conditions in the intensive care unit. However, to date, there is no specific and effective treatment. Oxidative stress has been shown to play a major role in sepsis pathogenesis by altering the systemic immune response to infections, which, in turn, may lead to multiorgan dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Here, Rajendrakumar et al. developed a nanoparticle-based peroxide scavenger treatment for reducing oxidative stress during sepsis.

To produce the nanoassembly, the authors first developed a water-soluble nanoparticle core containing an active peroxide scavenger and a protein that stabilizes the scavenger and improves its biocompatibility. The nanoparticle core was then coated with a polymer material conjugated with mannose to help the final nanoassembly target inflammatory immune cells through the mannose receptor on the immune cell surfaces. The authors first confirmed in cell cultures that the nanoassembly can selectively reduce hydrogen peroxide–mediated free radical production with minimal toxicity. In cultures, immune cells demonstrated enhanced intracellular uptake of the particles and reduced production of inflammatory markers during activation. To demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy in vivo, the authors carried out three sets of animal studies. In the first set, the nanoassembly was shown to reduce locally induced tissue inflammation and prevent inflammatory immune cell infiltration.

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Oct 13, 2018

A Look Inside Your Surgeon’s Brain, Before the Surgeon Looks Inside You

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Scans could reveal which doctors are less skilled. Is it ethical to do so? Is it ethical not to?

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Oct 12, 2018

Air Pollution Could Reduce Your Intelligence

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, sustainability

Air pollution could reduce your intelligence and mental capacity.

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