Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 388

Feb 7, 2020

Why Life Expectancy Could Rise Significantly in the Near Future

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

Let’s face it, getting older sucks, and not because of all the extra candles on the birthday cake. Getting cake and presents every year is great, but the loss of health and independence isn’t a particularly good birthday present. (Wow, what’d I get this year? Just what I didn’t want: sarcopenia and hearing loss!)

Given the downsides of aging, it really is surprising how little people talk about it beyond the odd grumble or even as a joke. Normally, it’s to complain about the aches and pains that gradually appear as the years roll by, as we find it harder to walk up the stairs and “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” turns into “cloudy-eyed and with an aching back”.

That’s not even the serious side of aging, which involves the gradual loss of independence and the age-related diseases that first rob us of our quality of life before they get around to killing us. The serious part is the horror of Alzheimer’s and the loss of self that it brings, the heart disease that cripples us, the frailty that steals our independence, and the lurking threat of cancer that rises dramatically as we age.

Feb 6, 2020

Elon Musk’s mind-reading technology could be about to take a big leap forward

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk, neuroscience

The tech entrepreneur announced an “awesome” update to his neurotechnology company’s work to connect brains to computers.

Daphne Leprince-Ringuet

Feb 6, 2020

Fed looking into central bank digital coins, Brainard says

Posted by in categories: business, cryptocurrencies, finance, neuroscience, policy

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb 5 (Reuters) — The Federal Reserve is looking at a broad range of issues around regulations and protections for digital payments and currencies, including the costs and potential benefits of issuing its own digital currency, Governor Lael Brainard said on Wednesday.

“By transforming payments, digitalization has the potential to deliver greater value and convenience at lower cost,” Brainard said in remarks prepared for delivery at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The speech did not touch on interest rates or the current economic outlook.

“But there are risks,” Brainard said, in a partial reprisal of her own and other global central bankers’ worries about the rise of private digital payment systems and currencies, including Facebook’s Libra digital currency project. “Some of the new players are outside the financial system’s regulatory guardrails, and their new currencies could pose challenges in areas such as illicit finance, privacy, financial stability, and monetary policy transmission.”

Feb 6, 2020

Neuralink: Elon Musk teases ‘awesome’ advancements will be revealed soon

Posted by in categories: computing, Elon Musk, neuroscience

The founder of the human-computer brain linkup firm has big plans.

Feb 6, 2020

From mushrooms to ecstasy, a renaissance in psychedelics research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

MDMA and psilocybin have been granted breakthrough therapy status by the FDA, signaling a shift in the future of mental health treatment.

Clinical studies are underway. How we treat them moving forward matters.

Feb 6, 2020

Scientists Use Sound and Light to Trigger Brain Waves in Innovative Approach to Treat Alzheimer’s

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A recent study by MIT found a low-pitched buzz-like sound and strobe lights can be used to replicate brain waves impeded by Alzheimer’s, which improved cognitive function and helped remove plaque in mice displaying symptoms of the disease. The approach hasn’t been tested in humans yet, but if it’s possible to copy these results, it might turn into a drug-free, inexpensive way to treat this condition.

The Secret: Applying Sound and Light at the Same Frequency

The study in question follows up on a previous one, which showed that flashing light and playing sound 40 times a second into the eyes of mice with Alzheimer’s, improved their condition. According to MIT researcher Li-Huei Tsai, there is substantial reduction of amyloid protein and increased prefrontal cortex engagement when visual and auditory stimulation is combined over a period of one week. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain most active in cognitive functions.

Feb 6, 2020

Molecular ‘switch’ reverses chronic inflammation and aging

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

Chronic inflammation, which results when old age, stress or environmental toxins keep the body’s immune system in overdrive, can contribute to a variety of devastating diseases, from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to diabetes and cancer.

Now, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a molecular “switch” that controls the immune machinery responsible for in the body. The finding, which appears online Feb. 6 in the journal Cell Metabolism, could lead to new ways to halt or even reverse many of these age-related conditions.

“My lab is very interested in understanding the reversibility of aging,” said senior author Danica Chen, associate professor of metabolic biology, nutritional sciences and toxicology at UC Berkeley. “In the past, we showed that aged stem cells can be rejuvenated. Now, we are asking: to what extent can aging be reversed? And we are doing that by looking at physiological conditions, like inflammation and insulin resistance, that have been associated with aging-related degeneration and diseases.”

Feb 5, 2020

Wild ideas in science: Death is reversible

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, science

Earlier this year, scientists brought dead pig brains back to life, provoking huge ethical quandaries in the process.

Feb 5, 2020

Mystery hangs over arrest of top brain scientist

Posted by in categories: government, neuroscience

Umm yeah.

Harvard scientist Charles Lieber was arrested last week and charged with one count of giving “materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the United States government and the FBI.

What marks the case as unusual is that a prestigious specialist at one of America’s top universities was criminally charged for what appears to be a less-than-candid response to questions about government contracts.

Continue reading “Mystery hangs over arrest of top brain scientist” »

Feb 5, 2020

Revitalizing the Aging Brain by Activating Immune Cells

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

Researchers at Albany Medical College in New York have discovered that a specific type of immune cell accumulates in older brains, and that activating these cells improves the memory of aged mice. The study, which will be published on February 5, 2020, in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM), suggests that targeting these cells might reduce age-related cognitive decline and combat aging-associated neurodegenerative disease in humans.

The brain is highly susceptible to aging, with cognitive functions, such as learning and memory, gradually declining as we get older. Much of the body’s immune system also deteriorates with age, resulting in increased susceptibility to infection and higher levels of inflammation. In their new JEM study, however, a team of researchers led by Qi Yang and Kristen L. Zuloaga at Albany Medical College reveal that aging-related changes in a class of immune cell known as group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) could allow doctors to combat the effects of aging on the brain.

ILC2s reside in specific tissues of the body and help to repair them when they are damaged. Recently, for example, ILC2s in the spinal cord were shown to promote healing after spinal cord injury. “However, whether ILC2s also reside in other parts of the central nervous system, and how they respond to aging, was unknown,” Yang says.