Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 7

Oct 9, 2020

Inhibiting Epileptic Activity in the Brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Boosting levels of the DUSP4 protein could be a novel way of preventing and treating epilepsy.

Source: University of Illinois

Epileptic seizures often originate in small, localized areas of the brain where neurons abnormally fire in unison. These electrical impulses disrupt proper brain functioning and cause seizures. But what makes regions where seizures start different from parts of the brain where electrical impulses remain normal? More importantly, what prevents these epileptic centers from growing?

Oct 9, 2020

Breakthrough discovery in gene causing severe nerve conditions

Posted by in categories: genetics, neuroscience

Researchers have made a breakthrough genetic discovery into the cause of a spectrum of severe neurological conditions.

A research study, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and gracing the cover of and published in the October edition of Human Mutation, found two new in the KIF1A gene cause rare nerve disorders.

MCRI researcher Dr. Simranpreet Kaur said mutations in the KIF1A gene caused ‘traffic jams’ in , called neurons, triggering a devastating range of progressive brain disorders. KIF1A-Associated Neurological Disorders (KAND) affects about 300 children worldwide.

Oct 9, 2020

What Brain-Computer Interfaces Could Mean for the Future of Work

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, information science, neuroscience, wearables

Imagine if your manager could know whether you actually paid attention in your last Zoom meeting. Or, imagine if you could prepare your next presentation using only your thoughts. These scenarios might soon become a reality thanks to the development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs).

To put it in the simplest terms, think of a BCI as a bridge between your brain and an external device. As of today, we mostly rely on electroencephalography (EEG) — a collection of methods for monitoring the electrical activity of the brain — to do this. But, that’s changing. By leveraging multiple sensors and complex algorithms, it’s now becoming possible to analyze brain signals and extract relevant brain patterns. Brain activity can then be recorded by a non-invasive device — no surgical intervention needed. In fact, the majority of existing and mainstream BCIs are non-invasive, such as wearable headbands and earbuds.

The development of BCI technology was initially focused on helping paralyzed people control assistive devices using their thoughts. But new use cases are being identified all the time. For example, BCIs can now be used as a neurofeedback training tool to improve cognitive performance. I expect to see a growing number of professionals leveraging BCI tools to improve their performance at work. For example, your BCI could detect that your attention level is too low compared with the importance of a given meeting or task and trigger an alert. It could also adapt the lighting of your office based on how stressed you are, or prevent you from using your company car if drowsiness is detected.

Oct 8, 2020

Engineers create nanoparticles that deliver gene-editing tools to specific tissues and organs

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience

One of the most remarkable recent advances in biomedical research has been the development of highly targeted gene-editing methods such as CRISPR that can add, remove, or change a gene within a cell with great precision. The method is already being tested or used for the treatment of patients with sickle cell anemia and cancers such as multiple myeloma and liposarcoma, and today, its creators Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

While is remarkably precise in finding and altering genes, there is still no way to target treatment to specific locations in the body. The treatments tested so far involve removing or immune system T cells from the body to modify them, and then infusing them back into a patient to repopulate the bloodstream or reconstitute an immune response—an expensive and time-consuming process.

Building on the accomplishments of Charpentier and Doudna, Tufts researchers have for the first time devised a way to directly deliver gene-editing packages efficiently across the and into specific regions of the brain, into immune system cells, or to specific tissues and organs in mouse models. These applications could open up an entirely new line of strategy in the treatment of neurological conditions, as well as cancer, infectious disease, and autoimmune diseases.

Oct 8, 2020

Fusing cytokines with antibodies found to be effective at treating brain tumors in mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A team of researchers from University Hospital Zurich and the University of Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and biotechnology company Philochem, has found fusing cytokines with antibodies to be an effective treatment for glioblastoma in mice. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes their technique and how well it worked when tested with mouse models.

Glioblastoma is a type of cancerous brain tumor that is notoriously difficult to treat. Surgery to remove it is difficult and fraught with side effects, and drugs have little impact. In recent years, researchers have tried using drugs that alert the immune system to the presence of the tumor but they have not worked as hoped, either. In this new effort, the researchers tried another approach—fusing cytokines with antibodies as a way to attack the tumor. The hope was that together, the two would incite the immune system to attack the tumor more strongly and hopefully get rid of it.

Cytokines are small protein cells secreted by the immune system. Their usual job is to send signals to other cells in the immune system. And antibodies are Y-shaped proteins produced by , the workhorses of the that attack viruses and bacteria. In this new effort, the researchers fused L19 antibodies to cytokines. L19 was chosen because prior research has shown that it is able to seek out markers for glioblastoma. Fusing the two proteins together proved to be a more formidable therapeutic approach than using either alone. The resulting (L19TNF) immunocytokines were injected into mice with induced glioblastoma and were then monitored to determine their impact on the brain tumors.

Oct 8, 2020

Review: Korg Minilogue XD

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Brains (mammalian, avian, reptilian) are analog, not digital/ hardwired for good evolutionary reasons (MVT). I have become interested in building synths recently — “Anyone with any passing interest in the synthesizer will have noticed not one, but three trends over the last decade. The first is a return to analogue… You can now get a phenomenal number of astounding synths — many of them ‘proper’ analogues — for an easy three digits. If you are as old as me, you’ll remember a time before when this was unthinkable. In fact, the whole idea of a return to analogue was unthinkable. “It would simply cost too much to (re) manufacture all of those analogue components,” they used to say, “and because everyone uses software, why would anyone be interested?”

Well, it turned out that analogue components could be cheap, and not everyone was interested in software (and if they were, they were also interested in hardware).”

Continue reading “Review: Korg Minilogue XD” »

Oct 7, 2020

A new interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests that reality does not depend on the person measuring it

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, quantum physics

Quantum mechanics arose in the 1920s, and since then scientists have disagreed on how best to interpret it. Many interpretations, including the Copenhagen interpretation presented by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, and in particular, von Neumann-Wigner interpretation, state that the consciousness of the person conducting the test affects its result. On the other hand, Karl Popper and Albert Einstein thought that an objective reality exists. Erwin Schrödinger put forward the famous thought experiment involving the fate of an unfortunate cat that aimed to describe the imperfections of quantum mechanics.

In their most recent article, Finnish civil servants Jussi Lindgren and Jukka Liukkonen, who study quantum mechanics in their free time, take a look at the that was developed by Heisenberg in 1927. According to the traditional of the principle, location and momentum cannot be determined simultaneously to an arbitrary degree of precision, as the person conducting the measurement always affects the values.

However, in their study Lindgren and Liukkonen concluded that the correlation between a location and momentum, i.e., their relationship, is fixed. In other words, reality is an object that does not depend on the person measuring it. Lindgren and Liukkonen utilized stochastic dynamic optimization in their study. In their theory’s frame of reference, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is a manifestation of thermodynamic equilibrium, in which correlations of random variables do not vanish.

Oct 7, 2020

Volcanic eruption turned man’s brain into glass, ‘froze’ brain cells 2,000 years ago, scientists find

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

Although it’s clearly NOT the approach taken for ultracold vitrification of patients undergoing life extension cryonization. (ULTRA🥶COLD being the exact opposite of ULTRA-BLOODY-H🥵T, obviously!)

Still, given the vast number of scientific and engineering discoveries and creations born on the backs of unexpected results, accidental discoveries, and outright screw up, it might have very useful data that has practical applications that would never otherwise have even been considered.

Italian scientists found intact brain cells in a man who was killed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Continue reading “Volcanic eruption turned man’s brain into glass, ‘froze’ brain cells 2,000 years ago, scientists find” »

Oct 6, 2020

Process for Regenerating Neurons in the Eye and Brain Identified

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Researchers have identified a network of genes in Zebrafish that regulate the process of determining whether certain neurons will regenerate.

Source: University of Notre Dame

The death of neurons, whether in the brain or the eye, can result in a number of human neurodegenerative disorders, from blindness to Parkinson’s disease. Current treatments for these disorders can only slow the progression of the illness, because once a neuron dies, it cannot be replaced.

Oct 5, 2020

Futurist Neologisms You Should Know As We Enter the Cybernetic Era

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, robotics/AI, transhumanism

Terms such as ‘Artificial Intelligence’ or ‘Neurotechnology’ were new some time not so long ago. We can’t evolve faster than our language does. We think in concepts and evolution itself is a linguistic, code-theoretic process. Do yourself a humongous favor, look over these 33 transhumanist neologisms. Here’s a fairly comprehensive glossary of thirty three newly-introduced concepts and terms from The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind’s Evolution by Russian-Amer… See More.

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