Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

Oct 16, 2018

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dead at 65

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Some of Allen’s philanthropy has taken a scientific bent: Allen founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003, pouring $500 million into the non-profit that aims to give scientists the tools and data they need to probe how brain works. One recent project, the Allen Brain Observatory, provides an open-access “catalogue of activity in the mouse’s brain,” Saskia de Vries, senior scientist on the project, said in a video. That kind of data is key to piecing together how the brain processes information.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died today from complications with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65. Allen said earlier this month that he was being treated for the disease.

Allen was a childhood friend of Bill Gates, and together, the two started Microsoft in 1975. He left the company in 1983 while being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and remained a board member with the company through 2000. He was first treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009, before seeing it go into remission.

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Oct 15, 2018

Stephen Hawking´s words from beyond the grave bring…

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Speaking from beyond the grave, Professor Stephen Hawking has told a new generation growing up in an increasingly insular world: ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.’

The eminent cosmologist, who had motor neurone disease and died in March, had his final public thoughts broadcast at a special event to launch his last book, Brief Answers To The Big Questions.

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Oct 15, 2018

Spontaneous genetic mutations in the womb may drive the majority of dementia cases

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

New research, led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, suggests spontaneous DNA mutations that occur when a baby’s brain is growing in the womb may help explain why so many people develop dementia without having any prior family history with the disease.

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Oct 13, 2018

A nano stress reliever for sepsis

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, neuroscience, particle physics

A peroxide scavenger nanoparticle reduces systemic inflammation in mouse models.

With 19 million cases per year worldwide, sepsis is one of the most life-threatening conditions in the intensive care unit. However, to date, there is no specific and effective treatment. Oxidative stress has been shown to play a major role in sepsis pathogenesis by altering the systemic immune response to infections, which, in turn, may lead to multiorgan dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Here, Rajendrakumar et al. developed a nanoparticle-based peroxide scavenger treatment for reducing oxidative stress during sepsis.

To produce the nanoassembly, the authors first developed a water-soluble nanoparticle core containing an active peroxide scavenger and a protein that stabilizes the scavenger and improves its biocompatibility. The nanoparticle core was then coated with a polymer material conjugated with mannose to help the final nanoassembly target inflammatory immune cells through the mannose receptor on the immune cell surfaces. The authors first confirmed in cell cultures that the nanoassembly can selectively reduce hydrogen peroxide–mediated free radical production with minimal toxicity. In cultures, immune cells demonstrated enhanced intracellular uptake of the particles and reduced production of inflammatory markers during activation. To demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy in vivo, the authors carried out three sets of animal studies. In the first set, the nanoassembly was shown to reduce locally induced tissue inflammation and prevent inflammatory immune cell infiltration.

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Oct 13, 2018

A Look Inside Your Surgeon’s Brain, Before the Surgeon Looks Inside You

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Scans could reveal which doctors are less skilled. Is it ethical to do so? Is it ethical not to?

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Oct 12, 2018

Air Pollution Could Reduce Your Intelligence

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, sustainability

Air pollution could reduce your intelligence and mental capacity.

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Oct 11, 2018

Mind-boggling brain development

Posted by in category: neuroscience


Coronal section of the neocortex in a juvenile mouse. Double immunostaining shows microglia (green) and inhibitory interneurons (red), whereas nuclear counterstaining is in blue.


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Oct 10, 2018

Invariant Natural Killer T Cells Might Be The Next Step in Cancer Therapy

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

Invariant natural killer T cells might lead to cheaper and more effective immunotherapy.

Researchers at the Imperial College London have discovered that specifically employing invariant natural killer T cells, rather than generic T cells, in cancer immunotherapies based on chimeric antigen receptors might lead to significantly more effective, cheaper, and more easily mass-produced treatments [1].


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Oct 8, 2018

Brain Meets Machine: The Art and Science of Brain-Computer Interfaces

Posted by in categories: computing, mathematics, neuroscience, science

Current brain-computer interface (BCI) research helps people who have lost the ability to affect their environment in ways many of us take for granted. Future BCIs may go beyond motor function, perhaps aiding with memory recall, decision-making, and other cognitive functions.

Have you ever studied a foreign language and wished you could upload the vocabulary lists directly into your brain so that you could retain them? Would you like to do mental math with the speed and accuracy of a calculator? Do you want a literal photographic memory? Well, these dreams are still the stuff of science fiction, but the brave new world of brain-computer interfaces, or BCI, is well on its way to making technological miracles of this sort a reality.

The story of BCI begins with the discovery of electrical signals emitted by the brain. In 1924, German scientist Hans Berger recorded the first electroencephalogram, or EEG, by placing electrodes under a person’s scalp. Although his research was at first met with derision, a whole new way to study the brain was born from his work. It is now well accepted that the human brain emits electric signals at a variety of frequencies currently known as brainwaves.

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Oct 8, 2018

Overlooked Brain Region Key to Complex Thought?

Posted by in category: neuroscience

The ornately folded outer layer of the human brain, the cerebral cortex, has long received nearly all the credit for our ability to perform complex cognitive tasks such as composing a sonata, imagining the plot of a novel or reflecting on our own thoughts.

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