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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

May 17, 2017

Bizarre Mini Brains Offer a Fascinating New Look at the Brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Brain balls sound like something straight out of a Tim Burton movie: starting as stem cells harvested from patients, they eventually develop into masses of living neurons, jumbled together in misshapen blobs.

Just like the developing brain, these neurons stretch and grow, reaching out skinny branches that grab onto others to form synapses—junctions where one neuron talks with the next.

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May 17, 2017

Researchers Are Using Stem Cell Tech to End Neurological Disorders

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

  • Researchers have constructed a laboratory model for a unique neurological disorder by transforming patients’ own cells using stem cell technology.
  • This innovation could also benefit the research of other neurological disorders that may also have roots in a dysfunctional blood-brain barrier, like Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

The human body is a melding of different systems designed to function well together. In some cases, however, a mechanism that protects the body can also cause it harm, like with the specialized shield of endothelial cells — called the blood-brain barrier — that keeps toxins in the blood from entering the brain.

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May 17, 2017

Project Telepathy: Team explores bioelectric signals produced

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, wearables

(Tech Xplore)—Researchers at the University of Bristol have figured out how you can whisper to someone up to 30 feet away. Their approach managed to translate facial expression into ultrasonic words.

David Lumb in Engadget said the researchers built a wearable ; its components are a worn on the forehead or chest and electrodes placed on the lips and jaw.

The only “snag,” as New Scientist called it, is fairly substantial. How could one be a stellar secret message-passing agent in a crowd when staring people would find it odd that person is wearing a speaker on his head and walking around with electrodes around his mouth.

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May 16, 2017

The human universe: Does consciousness create reality?

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, quantum physics

While not a complete figment of our imagination, the universe may only become real because we’re looking at it.

By Douglas Heaven

Samuel Johnson thought the idea was so preposterous that kicking a rock was enough to silence discussion. “I refute it thus,” he cried as his foot rebounded from reality. Had he known about quantum mechanics, he might have spared himself the stubbed toe.

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May 15, 2017

Electric zaps bring brain-dead people to life for a week, study says

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Scientists have successfully re-awoken coma patients so they can communicate with their family by ‘zapping’ their brain with a low-intensity current.

Two people in a vegetative state, and another 13 in a minimally-conscious coma, were able to show new signs of awareness after receiving brain stimulation, New Scientist reported.

The effect lasted for up to a week, according to researchers at the University of Liege in Belgium.

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May 14, 2017

Brain zaps let minimally conscious people communicate for a week

Posted by in categories: innovation, neuroscience

By Helen Thomson

People in a minimally conscious state have been “woken” for a whole week after a brief period of brain stimulation. The breakthrough suggests we may be on the verge of creating a device that can be used at home to help people with disorders of consciousness communicate with friends and family.

People with severe brain trauma can fall into a coma. If they begin to show signs of arousal but not awareness, they are said to be in a vegetative state. If they then show fluctuating signs of awareness but cannot communicate, they are described as being minimally consciousness.

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May 12, 2017

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging

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

The Buck institute is in the spotlight today.


Located in Novato, California, not too far from Mount Burdell Preserve and Olompali State Historic Park, is one of the world’s leading research centres for ageing and age-related diseases—the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

Opened in 1999 thanks to the substantial bequest of American philanthropist Beryl Hamilton Buck, the Buck Institute set to fulfill her wishes that her patrimony be spent to “extend help towards the problems of the aged, not only the indigent but those whose resources cannot begin to provide adequate care.” Over the years, the Institute has certainly honoured its commitment: The Buck can boast some of the most eminent experts on ageing among its research staff, and a number of laboratories that push forward our understanding of age-related pathologies every day—such as the Campisi Lab and the Kennedy Lab, just to name a few.

The Buck’s approach to investigating ageing is a multifaceted one. The institute rightfully acknowledges the necessity to bring together experts from disparate fields of science—from physics to engineering, from mathematics to anthropology—in order to properly understand the complex networks of biochemical processes underlying ageing and ultimately leading to pathology. Biochemistry, molecular endocrinology, proteomics, genomic stability, and cell biology are only some of the areas of investigation of the Buck, and the medical conditions researched by their teams range from Huntington’s disease to ischemia, to Parkinson’s, to cancer and Alzheimer’s. The three main questions the Buck set to answer are why do ageing tissues lose their regeneration capacity, why do stem cells fail to function with ageing, and how do tissues change during ageing so that they no longer support normal regenerative processes.

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May 12, 2017

Laying the foundations of the European Institute for Neuromorphic Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, finance, habitats, neuroscience

On 5th of May, the cornerstone for the construction of a neuromorphic computing facility in Europe was laid at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. With the financial support of the European Union and German public and private institutions, the new building will house leading European researchers working on neuromorphic computing within the Human Brain Project, a FET Flagship of the European Commission.

With German and EU flags in the background, representatives from the sponsoring authorities are using shovels to throw soil to the ground where the building is going to be constructed.

With this new facility the research team from Heidelberg University, led by Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Meier, will benefit from an optimal environment to continue working on the neuromorphic computing platform, which they are developing together with other research groups within the Human Brain Project.

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May 11, 2017

Researchers Find Gut Bacteria Can Trigger Brain Lesions That Lead to Strokes

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

In yet another study that has connected conditions in the gut to diseases of the brain, scientists have linked the cause of common blood vessel abnormalities in the brain to bacteria colonies in the stomach.

These malformations can lead to strokes called cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs), which don’t leave patients with many options — if surgery can’t be performed, there’s little left but palliative care. But figuring out what causes these abnormalities could led to treatments that block them before they even occur.

An international team led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania studied genetically engineered mice that were prone to developing vascular lesions in their brains.

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May 11, 2017

Project to map human brain from womb to birth releases stunning images

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Scientists hope to understand how conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and attention deficit disorders arise using thousands images of brain’s wiring.

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