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Who will binge-drink at age 16? Teen imaging study pinpoints predictors

Who will binge-drink at age 16? Teen imaging study pinpoints predictors

Neuroscientists leading the largest longitudinal adolescent brain imaging study to date have learned that predicting teenage binge-drinking is possible. Continue reading

Twin study links community socioeconomic deprivation to sleep duration

Twin study links community socioeconomic deprivation to sleep duration

A new study of adult twins suggests that the level of socioeconomic deprivation in a neighborhood is associated with the sleep duration of residents. Results show that increased socioeconomic deprivation was significantly associated with decreased sleep duration across all twins. Continue reading

Using geometry, researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to organize themselves

Using geometry, researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to organize themselves

About seven days after conception, something remarkable occurs in the clump of cells that will eventually become a new human being. Continue reading

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled. Continue reading

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled Continue reading

Potential Alzheimer’s drug prevents abnormal blood clots in brain

Potential Alzheimer’s drug prevents abnormal blood clots in brain

Without a steady supply of blood, neurons can’t work. Continue reading

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

For children, stress can go a long way. Continue reading

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

For children, stress can go a long way. A little bit provides a platform for learning, adapting and coping. Continue reading

Mitochondrial mutation linked to congenital myasthenic syndrome

Mitochondrial mutation linked to congenital myasthenic syndrome

Although significant progress has been made over the last 25 years to identify genetic abnormalities associated with congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS), many patients remain genetically undiagnosed. A report in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases identifies a gene defect in mitochondria, specifically the citrate carrier SLC25A1, that may underlie deficits in neuromuscular transmission seen in two siblings. “While mitochondrial gene defects can cause a myriad of neurological disorders including myopathies and neuropathies, these have not been specifically implicated in defects of the neuromuscular junction,” says Hanns Lochmüller, MD, Professor of Experimental Myology, Institute of Genetic Medicine, MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Continue reading

Genetic code for diabetes in Greenland broken by scientists

Genetic code for diabetes in Greenland broken by scientists

A spectacular piece of detective work has mapped a special gene variant among Greenlanders which plays a particularly important role in the development of type 2 diabetes. The results have been published in Nature and can be used to improve prevention and treatment options for those genetically at-risk. In collaboration with Greenland researchers from Steno Diabetes Center and University of Southern Denmark, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have carried out the ground-breaking genetic analysis based on blood samples from 5,000 people or approximately 10% of the modestly-sized population inhabiting an area larger than western Europe Continue reading