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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 15

May 1, 2021

New Brain-Like Computing Device With Electrochemical “Synaptic Transistors” Simulates Human Learning

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, food, neuroscience

Researchers have developed a brain-like computing device that is capable of learning by association.

Similar to how famed physiologist Ivan Pavlov conditioned dogs to associate a bell with food, researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Hong Kong successfully conditioned their circuit to associate light with pressure.

The research will be published today (April 30, 2021) in the journal Nature Communications.

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May 1, 2021

Perfectionistic cognitions appear to play a key role in clinical anxiety

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A new study found that perfectionist thinking patterns contributed to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms, over and above several known control variables. The findings were published in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Perfectionism involves a desire to perform to the highest standards without allowing room for failure. People with perfectionist beliefs tend to be overly self-critical and put pressure on themselves to perform flawlessly at all times. While perfectionism is often seen as a favorable trait, the attribute has been linked to numerous anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Researchers have recently begun exploring the thought patterns that characterize perfectionism — called perfectionist cognitions (PC). As study author Jeremy Tyler and his team say, perfectionist cognitions include expectations about achieving perfection such as, “I can’t stand to make mistakes.” These cognitions have been linked to dysfunctional mental health symptoms like obsessions, distress, and anxiety. However, these associations have yet to be explored among a clinical population.

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Apr 30, 2021

Oncogene Linked to Worsening of Blood Vessel Malformations in Brain

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

An acquired mutation in the cancer-causing gene PIK3CA can make blood vessel malformations in the brain worse, possibly explaining why these abnormal clusters sometimes rapidly increase in size and cause stroke or seizures, shows new research.


Research from the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University shows an acquired mutation in the cancer-causing gene PIK3CA can trigger uncontrolled growth in cerebral cavernous malformations often leading to strokes or seizures in those affected.

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Apr 28, 2021

How close are we to uploading our minds? — Michael S.A. Graziano

Posted by in categories: biological, neuroscience

It points out that to measure down to the synapse the energy needed would melt the tissue of your head.


Investigate the possibility of scanning the human brain and uploading our minds and consciousness to a digital world.

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Apr 28, 2021

COVID-19 ‘brain fog’ inspires search for causes and treatments

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Trouble thinking, concentrating, and remembering can be among the most debilitating “long haul” #COVID19 symptoms. Here’s what researchers are doing to help combat them.


Disentangling the roots of survivors’ cognitive deficits is no easy task.

Apr 28, 2021

Anger Kills You. How Anger Affects The Brain And Body

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Apr 27, 2021

A New CRISPR Tool Flips Genes On and Off Like a Light Switch

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

Why not add a light switch instead?

This month, a team from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) reimagined CRISPR to do just that. Rather than directly acting on genes—irrevocably dicing away or swapping genetic letters— the new CRISPR variant targets the biological machinery that naturally turns genes on or off.

Translation? CRISPR can now “flip a light switch” to control genes—without ever touching them directly. It gets better. The new tool, CRISPRoff, can cause a gene to stay silent for hundreds of generations, even when its host cells morph from stem cells into more mature cells, such as neurons. Once the “sleeping beauty” genes are ready to wake up, a complementary tool, CRISPRon, flips the light switch back on.

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Apr 27, 2021

Higher education does not influence how the brain ages

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

All brains shrink with age, and the dominant view has been that more education slows the rate of shrinking. However, the evidence has been inconclusive because studies have not been able to track the rate of change over time. Until now.

Measured brain shrinkage over time

A team of researchers measured by measuring the volume of the cortical mantle and hippocampus regions of the brain, in MRI scans from more than 2000 participants in the Lifebrain and UK biobanks. These areas of the brain are prone to shrinkage over time, as a natural part of aging. Participants’ brains were scanned up to three times over an 11 year period, in what is known as a ‘longitudinal’ study.

Apr 26, 2021

Clear link emerges between COVID-19 and pregnancy complications

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The study also linked COVID-19 to a 60% to 97% increased rate of preterm birth, and— in infected women with a fever and shortness of breath—to a fivefold increase in neonatal complications such as immature lungs, brain damage, and eye disorders. About 13% of babies tested positive for the virus, and cesarean delivery was linked to a higher risk of transmission. Breastfeeding didn’t appear to transmit the virus—a small bit of good news.


New study bolsters the case for vaccinating pregnant women.

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Apr 26, 2021

The Immune Link Between a Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier and Schizophrenia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The work adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that schizophrenia and certain other neuropsychiatric conditions may be in part neuroinflammatory disorders.


Summary: People with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders may have a more permissive blood-brain barrier which allows the immune system to become more actively involved in the central nervous system. The resulting inflammation may contribute to the clinical manifestation of psychosis-like symptoms.

Source: University of Pennsylvania

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