Neuro

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Tissue in the brain may underlie better face recognition

Tissue in the brain may underlie better face recognition
People are born with brains riddled with excess neural connections. Those are slowly pruned back until early childhood when, scientists thought, the brain’s structure becomes relatively stable. Now a pair of studies, published in the issues of Science and in Cerebral Cortex, suggest this process is more complicated than previously thought. For the first time, the group found microscopic tissue growth in the brain continues in regions that also show changes in function.
6th January 2017

A radiation-free approach to imaging molecules in the brain

A radiation-free approach to imaging molecules in the brain
Scientists hoping to get a glimpse of molecules that control brain activity have devised a probe that allows them to image these molecules without using any chemical or radioactive labels. Currently the gold standard approach to imaging molecules in the brain is to tag them with radioactive probes. However, these probes offer low resolution and they can’t easily be used to watch dynamic events, says Alan Jasanoff, an MIT professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences.
5th December 2016

Magnetic brain stimulation brings stowed memories back

Brad Postle’s lab, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is challenging the idea that working memory remembers things through sustained brain activity. They caught brains tucking less-important information away somewhere beyond the reach of the tools that typically monitor brain activity — and then they snapped that information back into active attention with magnets. Their latest study will be published in the journal Science.
5th December 2016


UW spinoff sells neural cells to drug researchers

UW spinoff sells neural cells to drug researchers
Leaders of the University of Wisconsin–Madison lab that first transformed human stem cells into brain cells have started a company that produces and sells specialised neurons to drug researchers. BrainXell develops neurons from stem cells in its Madison lab, then freezes them for shipment. Once thawed in the customer’s lab, the cells undergo a final step of specialisation and become neurons like those found in the spinal cord or brain.
2nd November 2016

Robotic cleaning technique could automate neuroscience

Robotic cleaning technique could automate neuroscience
For scientists listening in on the faint whispers of brain neurons, a first-ever robotic technique for cleaning the tiny devices that record the signals could facilitate a new level of automation in neuroscience research. That could accelerate the gathering of information used to map the functions of brain cells and ultimately provide a better understanding what’s going on between our ears.
26th October 2016

Mapping serotonin dynamics in the living brain

Mapping serotonin dynamics in the living brain
MIT researchers have developed an imaging technique that, for the first time, enables three-dimensional mapping of serotonin as it’s reabsorbed into neurons, across multiple regions of the living brain. This technique, the researchers say, gives an unprecedented view of serotonin dynamics, and could be a powerful tool for the research and development of antidepressants.
21st October 2016

Brain cells influence feeding behaviour

Brain cells influence feeding behaviour
MIT neuroscientists have discovered that brain cells called glial cells play a critical role in controlling appetite and feeding behaviour. In a study of mice, the researchers found that activating these cells stimulates overeating, and that when the cells are suppressed, appetite is also suppressed. The findings could offer scientists a new target for developing drugs against obesity and other appetite-related disorders, the researchers say.
19th October 2016

Neurons devoted to social memory

Neurons devoted to social memory
In a new study from the neuroscientists at MIT, it has been discovered that mice have brain cells that are dedicated to storing memories of other mice. Found in a region of the hippocampus known as the ventral CA1, store ‘social memories’ these cells help shape the mice’s behaviour toward each other.
3rd October 2016

AI reveals mechanism behind brain tumour

Researchers at Uppsala University have used computer modelling to study how brain tumours arise. The study, which is published today in the journal EBioMedicine, illustrated how researchers in the future will be able to use large-scale data to find new disease mechanisms and identify treatment targets. The last ten years’ progress in molecular biology has drastically changed how cancer researchers work.
20th September 2016

First-ever restoration of vision achieved in mice

First-ever restoration of vision achieved in mice
  Experiments conducted under the leadership of a Stanford University School of Medicine investigator have succeeded, for the first time, in restoring multiple key aspects of vision in mammals.
11th July 2016


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