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Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learning

Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learning

The human mind can rapidly absorb and analyze new information as it flits from thought to thought. Continue reading

Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learning

Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learning

The human mind can rapidly absorb and analyze new information as it flits from thought to thought. Continue reading

Biologists pave the way for improved epilepsy treatments

Biologists pave the way for improved epilepsy treatments

University of Toronto biologists leading an investigation into the cells that regulate proper brain function, have identified and located the key players whose actions contribute to afflictions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. The discovery is a major step toward developing improved treatments for these and other neurological disorders. “Neurons in the brain communicate with other neurons through synapses, communication that can either excite or inhibit other neurons,” said Professor Melanie Woodin in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Toronto (U of T), lead investigator of a study published today in Cell Reports Continue reading

Ability to identify source of pain varies across body

Ability to identify source of pain varies across body

“Where does it hurt?” is the first question asked to any person in pain. A new UCL study defines for the first time how our ability to identify where it hurts, called “spatial acuity,” varies across the body, being most sensitive at the forehead and fingertips. Using lasers to cause pain to 26 healthy volunteers without any touch, the researchers produced the first systematic map of how acuity for pain is distributed across the body. Continue reading

Ability to identify source of pain varies across body

Ability to identify source of pain varies across body

“Where does it hurt?” is the first question asked to any person in pain. A new UCL study defines for the first time how our ability to identify where it hurts, called “spatial acuity,” varies across the body, being most sensitive at the forehead and fingertips. Using lasers to cause pain to 26 healthy volunteers without any touch, the researchers produced the first systematic map of how acuity for pain is distributed across the body. Continue reading

Can mice mimic human breast cancer? Study says ‘yes’

Can mice mimic human breast cancer? Study says ‘yes’

Scientists have routinely used mice to replicate aspects of human breast cancer in an effort to find a cure to the most common type of cancer among women. Continue reading

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection. Continue reading

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process Continue reading

Uncovering Clues to the Genetic Cause of Schizophrenia

Uncovering Clues to the Genetic Cause of Schizophrenia

The overall number and nature of mutations — rather than the presence of any single mutation — influences an individual’s risk of developing schizophrenia, as well as its severity, according to a discovery by Columbia University Medical Center researchers published in the latest issue of Neuron . The findings could have important implications for the early detection and treatment of schizophrenia. Maria Karayiorgou, MD, professor of psychiatry and Joseph Gogos, MD, PhD, professor of physiology and cellular biophysics and of neuroscience, and their team sequenced the “exome” — the region of the human genome that codes for proteins — of 231 schizophrenia patients and their unaffected parents Continue reading

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

The cognitive differences between humans and our closest living cousins, the chimpanzees, are staggeringly obvious. Although we share strong superficial physical similarities, we have been able to use our incredible mental abilities to construct civilisations and manipulate our environment to our will, allowing us to take over our planet and walk on the moon while the chimps grub around in a few remaining African forests. But a new study suggests that human muscle may be just as unique Continue reading