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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

Oct 29, 2020

A New Way to Plug a Human Brain Into a Computer: via Veins

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

Article. I guess having implants directly on the brain isn’t the only way to have a brain to machine interface. The scientists involved in the study found an alternative by picking up signals through the blood vessels.

It’s not as information packed as a direct brain connection, but it’s not as invasive.

I think it would be a good alternative or even complementary to direct brain implants. Interesting. 😃

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Oct 29, 2020

New ‘epigenetic’ clock provides insight into how the human brain ages

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

While our circadian body clock dictates our preferred rhythm of sleep or wakefulness, a relatively new concept—the epigenetic clock—could inform us about how swiftly we age, and how prone we are to diseases of old age.

People age at different rates, with some individuals developing both characteristics and diseases related to aging earlier in life than others. Understanding more about this so-called ‘biological age’ could help us learn more about how we can prevent diseases associated with age, such as . Epigenetic markers control the extent to which genes are switched on and off across the different cell-types and tissues that make up a . Unlike our , these epigenetic marks change over time, and these changes can be used to accurately predict biological age from a DNA .

Now, scientists at the University of Exeter have developed a new specifically for the . As a result of using human tissue samples, the new clock is far more accurate than previous versions, that were based on blood samples or other tissues. The researchers hope that their new clock, published in Brain and funded by Alzheimer’s Society, will provide insight into how accelerated aging in the brain might be associated with brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Oct 29, 2020

The Lancet Healthy Longevity

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

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic does not affect everyone equally. While anyone can contract COVID-19, accumulating data suggest that older people or those with pre-existing comorbidities are far more likely to have severe complications or die from the disease. While researchers scramble to unravel the mechanisms of action underlying the disease’s wide-ranging effects, news that the disease hits older people hardest has been received without demur: it is widely accepted that to be old is to be fragile. Indeed, even in so-called normal times, everyone expects more things break as people age: bones, hearts, brains. In the context of the pandemic, being old is seen as just one more comorbidity.

It should not be.

We accept growing old and losing our vitality as an inevitability of life. To do so is to overlook the fact that ageing is, fundamentally, a plastic trait—influenced both by our genetic predispositions and many (controllable) environmental factors. Anecdotally we know this to be true: for some, being in their eighties means being confined to a wheelchair whereas for others, like Eileen Noble, who at 84 years old was the oldest runner in 2019’s London Marathon, it decidedly does not. The burgeoning field of biogerontology is now beginning to amass data in support of such observations. Single genetic mutations in evolutionarily conserved pathways across model organisms—ranging from fruit flies to mice—increase lifespan by up to 80%. Crucially, not only do these animals live longer, they also have a longer youthspan—the proportion of their lives in which they retain the trappings of youth such as peak mobility, immunity, and stress resilience.

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Oct 28, 2020

Uppsala in Last Preclinical Stage for New CAR T-cell Product for Glioblastoma

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Researchers at Uppsala University, in Sweden, in collaboration with the SciLifeLab Drug Discovery and Development Platform, have taken “a large step forward” in developing a potential CAR T-cell therapy for glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that is often difficult to treat.

Their project is now entering the final preclinical stage of development, according to the university. The goal is to start clinical studies within four years.

“Extremely few breakthroughs have been made around treating Glioblastoma,” Magnus Essand, professor of gene therapy at Uppsala, said in a press release.

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Oct 27, 2020

Can lab-grown brains become conscious?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, law, neuroscience

Researchers are now calling for a set of guidelines, similar to those used in animal research, to guide the humane use of brain organoids and other experiments that could achieve consciousness. In June, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine began a study with the aim of outlining the potential legal and ethical issues associated with brain organoids and human-animal chimaeras.


A handful of experiments are raising questions about whether clumps of cells and disembodied brains could be sentient, and how scientists would know if they were.

Oct 27, 2020

Multifunctional skin-mounted microfluidic device able to measure stress in multiple ways

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

An international team of researchers has developed a multifunctional skin-mounted microfluidic device that is able to measure stress in people in multiple ways. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their device and how it could be useful.

Prior research has shown that can damage a person’s health. It can lead to diabetes, depression, obesity and a host of other problems. Some have suggested that one of the ways to combat stress is to create a means for alerting a person to their heightened stress so that they might take action to reduce it. To that end, prior teams have developed skin-adhesive devices that that collect sweat samples. The tiny samples contain small amounts of cortisol, a hormone that can be used as a marker of stress levels. In this new effort, the researchers have improved on these devices by developing one that measures more than just cortisol levels and is much more comfortable.

The researchers began with the notion that in order to convince people to wear a full time, it had to be both useful and comfortable. The solved the latter issue by making their device out of soft materials that adhere gently to the skin. They also used a skeletal design for their microfluidic sweat-collection apparatus—a flexible mesh. They also added more functionality. In addition to cortisol, their device is able to measure glucose and vitamin C levels. They also added electrodes underneath that are able to measure sweat rate and electrical conductivity of the skin, both of which change in response to stress. They also added a wireless transmitter that sends all of the data to a nearby smartphone running the device’s associated app.

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Oct 27, 2020

Recording Brain Activity Through the Mouth

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Neuroscientists introduce a new tool to detect hippocampal activity.

Oct 26, 2020

Single Brain Region Links Depression and Anxiety, Heart Disease, and Treatment Sensitivity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Overactivity in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex underlies several key symptoms of depression, anxiety, and heart disease.


Summary: Over-activity in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex underlies several key symptoms of depression, anxiety, and heart disease.

Source: University of Cambridge

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Oct 26, 2020

European startups that are hacking the brain better than Neuralink

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, Elon Musk, neuroscience

…BIOS is doing pretty much the same thing as Neuralink — only in many respects better.


Elon Musk’s Neuralink wants to hack the brain – here are the European neurotechnology startups that are doing the same with a lot less funding.

Oct 26, 2020

No Implants Needed For Precise Control Deep Into The Brain

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

“This is kind of a nice bookend to 16 years of research,” says Deisseroth, a neuroscientist and bioengineer at Stanford University. “It took years and years for us to sort out how to make it work.”

“The result is described this month in the journal Nature Biotechnology.”

“Optogenetics involves genetically engineering animal brains to express light-sensitive proteins—called opsins—in the membranes of neurons.”

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