Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 22

Apr 5, 2021

Scientists connect human brain to computer wirelessly for first time ever

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

The first wireless commands to a computer have been demonstrated in a breakthrough for people with paralysis.

The system is able to transmit brain signals at “single-neuron resolution and in full broadband fidelity”, say researchers at Brown University in the US.

A clinical trial of the BrainGate technology involved a small transmitter that connects to a person’s brain motor cortex.

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Apr 5, 2021

Neuralink Co-Founder Says We Have the Tech to Build an Actual Jurassic Park

Posted by in categories: existential risks, genetics, neuroscience, sustainability

For the uninitiated, “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” make up a five-movie franchise — with a sixth in the works — all based on Michael Crichton’s hit novel about how bad of an idea it was to open a place like Jurassic Park. Leveraging recent advances in genetic research to create entirely new creatures is certainly an enticing idea, though there’s a big difference between something potentially being feasible and actually being a good idea.

But it’s not all fun and games when you’re playing god and creating new dinosaurs. Hodak later added that de-extinction could be a valuable tool for increasing biodiversity, perhaps because we find ourselves in the midst of an era of mass extinction.

“Biodiversity (antifragility) is definitely valuable; conservation is important and makes sense,” Hodak tweeted minutes later. “But why do we stop there? Why don’t we more intentionally try to generate novel diversity?”

Apr 5, 2021

Gene Changes Linked to Severe Repetitive Behaviors Seen in Autism, Schizophrenia, and Drug Addiction

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

“Our new data suggest that the upregulation of Neuregulin-responsive genes in animals with severely repetitive behaviors reflects gene changes in the striosomal neurons that control the release of dopamine,” Crittenden explains. “Dopamine can directly impact whether an animal repeats an action or explores new actions, so our study highlights a potential role for a striosomal circuit in controlling action-selection in health and in neuropsychiatric disease.”

Graybiel lab identifies genes linked to abnormal repetitive behaviors often seen in models of addiction and schizophrenia.

Extreme repetitive behaviors such as hand-flapping, body-rocking, skin-picking, and sniffing are common to a number of brain disorders including autism, schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease, and drug addiction. These behaviors, termed stereotypies, are also apparent in animal models of drug addiction and autism.

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Apr 4, 2021

Neutrobots smuggle drugs across biological barriers

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Neutrophil-based microrobots accomplish the mission of crossing the blood-brain barrier for targeted drug delivery.

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Apr 3, 2021

Signal Detection Theory Can Be Used to Objectively Measure Cognitive Fatigue

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Two key metrics of signal detection theory, perceptual certainty and response bias, correlate with changes in cognitive fatigue.

Source: Kessler Foundation.

A team of New Jersey researchers has shown that changes in perceptual certainty and response bias, two central metrics of signal detection theory (SDT), correlate with changes in cognitive fatigue. They also show that SDT measures change as a function of changes in brain activation.

Apr 3, 2021

Faulty brain circuit helps explain obesity–depression link

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

The team found that feeding mice a high fat diet disrupted the circuit, which led not only to weight gain but also to signs of anxiety and depression on standard behavioral tests.

When the researchers used genetic techniques to restore the normal functioning of nerve receptors in the circuit, this resulted in weight loss and eliminated the animals’ signs of anxiety and depression.

A recent study in mice has found that eating a high fat diet may disrupt a newly discovered neural circuit that affects both mood and appetite.

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Apr 2, 2021

First high-bandwidth wireless brain-computer interface for humans

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, neuroscience

Researchers at Brown University have created a brain-computer interface (BCI) with 200 electrodes providing 48 megabits per second (Mbit/s) of neural signals.

Apr 2, 2021

The first non-invasive biomarker to track and verify efficacy of senolytic drugs

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

Buck Institute researchers have discovered and are developing a novel, non-invasive biomarker test that can be used to measure and track performance of senolytics: a class of drugs that selectively eliminate senescent cells. The discovery is expected to play a major role in efforts to develop treatments that would battle a myriad of chronic age-related conditions that range from arthritis to lung disease to Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma. This biomarker is a unique signaling lipid metabolite, normally exclusively intracellular, but is released when senescent cells are forced to die. This metabolite is detectible in blood and urine, making non-invasive testing possible. With a growing list of senolytic drugs in development, detecting this metabolite via a companion test could verify performance of senolytic candidates.

“The list of age-related diseases definitively linked to cellular keeps growing, as does the number of biotech companies racing to develop drugs to eliminate senescent ,” said Buck professor Judith Campisi, Ph.D., senior scientist on the study. “While the field has never been more promising, the lack of a simple biomarker to measure and track efficacy of these treatments has been a hindrance to progress. We are excited to bring this new biomarker to the field and look forward to it being used in the clinic.”

Apr 2, 2021

Not So Sweet: Sugary Diet Early in Life Could Lead to Cognitive Problems Later

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The results of this study confirm a direct link, on a molecular level, between the gut microbiome and brain function.

Summary: Consuming high levels of sugar-sweetened beverages early in life may lead to memory problems during adulthood. Researchers found, compared to rats who consumed only water, those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages had difficulties in memory recall associated with the hippocampus. The study also found a link between specific changes in gut bacteria in rats who drank sugary drinks and impaired brain function.

Source: USC

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Apr 2, 2021

Disrupted biochemical pathway in the brain linked to bipolar disorder

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

Bipolar disorder affects millions of Americans, causing dramatic swings in mood and, in some people, additional effects such as memory problems.

While bipolar disorder is linked to many genes, each one making small contributions to the disease, scientists don’t know just how those genes ultimately give rise to the disorder’s effects.

However, in new research, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found for the first time that disruptions to a particular protein called Akt can lead to the brain changes characteristic of bipolar disorder. The results offer a foundation for research into treating the often-overlooked cognitive impairments of bipolar disorder, such as memory loss, and add to a growing understanding of how the biochemistry of the brain affects health and disease.

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