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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

Alzheimer’s linked to brain hyperactivity

Alzheimer’s linked to brain hyperactivity

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease run a high risk of seizures. While the amyloid-beta protein involved in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s seems the most likely cause for this neuronal hyperactivity, how and why this elevated activity takes place hasn’t yet been explained — until now. A new study by Tel Aviv University researchers, published in Cell Reports , pinpoints the precise molecular mechanism that may trigger an enhancement of neuronal activity in Alzheimer’s patients, which subsequently damages memory and learning functions Continue reading

Shock wave from explosives causes significant eye damage

Shock wave from explosives causes significant eye damage

Researchers at UTSA are discovering that the current protective eyewear used by our U.S. armed forces might not be adequate to protect soldiers exposed to explosive blasts 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

The social psychology of nerve cells

The social psychology of nerve cells

The functional organization of the central nervous system depends upon a precise architecture and connectivity of distinct types of neurons. Multiple cell types are present within any brain structure, but the rules governing their positioning, and the molecular mechanisms mediating those rules, have been relatively unexplored. A new study by UC Santa Barbara researchers demonstrates that a particular neuron, the cholinergic amacrine cell, creates a “personal space” in much the same way that people distance themselves from one another in an elevator. Continue reading

New device could improve biomarker analyses

New device could improve biomarker analyses

A device proposed by researchers at Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology could offer a more reliable alternative for detecting biomarkers in patients facing such illnesses as cancer or malaria. Whether to extract circulating tumor cells from the blood of a cancer patient, or to measure the elasticity of red blood cells due to malaria infection, the physical attributes of cells are important biomarkers in medicine. Continue reading