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Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 394

Jan 17, 2017

Human organs-on-chips: Harvard develops microchips lined with living cells to revolutionise medicine

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

Biological engineers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have invented a microchip that can be lined with living human cells in order to revolutionise medicine, particularly relating to drug testing, disease modelling and personalised medicine.

The ‘human organs-on-chip’ is a microchip made from a clear flexible polymer that contains hollow microfluidic channels that are lined with living human cells, together with an interface that lines the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, known as an endothelium.

The idea is that the microchip can emulate the microarchitecture and functions of multiple human organs such as the lungs, kidneys, skin, bone marrow, intestines and blood-brain barrier. And if you were able to do this, you could then test out drugs and study how diseases affect the body without having to endanger human patients, or waste precious organs needed for transplants.

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Jan 17, 2017

Malaria Drug Successfully Treats 26 Year Old Brain Cancer Patient

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Researchers report an anti malaria drug has helped improve length and quality of life for a 26 year old brain cancer patient.

Source: University of Colorado.

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Jan 17, 2017

Protein Associated With Parkinson’s Travels From Brain To Gut

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Pretty wild.


Researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have found that “alpha-synuclein,” a protein involved in a series of neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease, is capable of travelling from brain to stomach and that it does so following a specific pathway. Donato Di Monte and co-workers report on this in the journal Acta Neuropathologica. Their study, carried out in rats, sheds new light on pathological processes that could underlie disease progression in humans.

Alpha-synuclein occurs naturally in the nervous system, where it plays an important role in synaptic function. However, in Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and other neurodegenerative diseases termed “synucleinopathies,” this protein is accumulated within neurons, forming pathological aggregates. Distinct areas of the brain become progressively affected by this condition. The specific mechanisms and pathways involved in this widespread distribution of alpha-synuclein pathology remain to be fully elucidated. Clinical and experimental evidence suggests however that alpha-synuclein — or abnormal forms of it — could “jump” from one neuron to another and thus spread between anatomically interconnected regions.

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Jan 17, 2017

The Pit In Your Stomach is Actually Your Second Brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Hmmm; you have a 2nd brain inside your stomach. At least this new research is pointing to that.


Gut feelings influence your mood and well-being.

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Jan 17, 2017

‘5-D protein fingerprinting’ with nanopores could give insights into Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s

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

Nice.


In research that could one day lead to advances against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, University of Michigan engineering researchers have demonstrated a technique for precisely measuring the properties of individual protein molecules floating in a liquid.

Proteins are essential to the function of every cell. Measuring their properties in blood and other body fluids could unlock valuable information, as the molecules are a vital building block in the body. The body manufactures them in a variety of complex shapes that can transmit messages between cells, carry oxygen and perform other important functions.

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Jan 17, 2017

Older, fitter adults experience greater brain activity while learning

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

Exercise is one of the best ways to slow down aging and its free too!


(Boston) — Older adults who experience good cardiac fitness may be also keeping their brains in good shape as well.

In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, older adults who scored high on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) tests performed better on memory tasks than those who had low CRF. Further, the more fit older adults were, the more active their brain was during learning. These findings appear in the journal Cortex. Difficulty remembering new information represents one of the most common complaints in aging and decreased memory performance is one of the hallmark impairments in Alzheimer’s disease.

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Jan 16, 2017

Could you recruit a ‘mind reader’ for Facebook?

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

Many who worked closely with me at Microsoft use to say I had a Crystal ball and was psychic; maybe I have met my match for a career — LOL.


A number of job adverts suggest that Facebook is taking social networking to a different level of science fiction.

The social networking giant has advertised for a Haptics Engineer, a Neural Imaging Engineer, a Signal Processing Engineer and a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Engineer – leading people to think Facebook is working on mind reading technology.

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Jan 15, 2017

What Do Single Neurons Know

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

But, the larger question remains as to how these individual dendrites and neuron outputs are used by the circuit and the brain as a whole. These findings are considerably different than sequences needing a group of neurons working in order and in a circuit. Even more unusual is the fact that (even young childrens’) brains are able to analyze and respond to information that is, in fact, so complex that the most advanced super computers cannot. Can individual cells do this as well?

Another new set of research shows that in a monkey brain, these responses of individual neurons are correlated somewhat with the final decision of the animal. This research used very limited visual information and showed that the final decisions of the animal using billions of neurons was perhaps relevant even to this small amount of information input given to individual cells.

It could be that the local neuron responded to the decision that was made by the larger circuits and brain. But, it doesn’t answer the question as to how the individual neuron relates to the brain.

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Jan 14, 2017

Does Memory Reside Outside the Brain?

Posted by in category: neuroscience

After decades of investigation, scientists are still unable to explain why no part of the brain seems responsible for storing memories.

Read more

Jan 14, 2017

Body-Pierced Gadget Turns You Into a Human Compass

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, internet, neuroscience, transhumanism

Liviu Babitz is not content waiting around for evolution to improve upon his human form. Like other transhumanists, Babitz believes that science and technology can take a person’s intelligence, physical performance and psychological state to the next level, all in less than the span of a single lifetime.

To that end, he helped develop North Sense, a small silicone gadget that detects magnetic north. This is not a GPS device, nor a tracker. It’s not even connected to the Internet nor any other network. This is a new sensory organ designed to be pierced to a person’s body and vibrate each time the wearer faces magnetic north.

The idea is that over time, the brain will assimilate the vibration into the everyday human experience, enhancing it. That will open a person up to a world that exists beyond his or her own current capabilities.

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