Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category: Page 24

Jul 31, 2020

New Hope as Dementia Therapy Reverses Memory Loss

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Activating p38gamma, a naturally protective enzyme in the brain, may help to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Researchers showed the naturally protective effects of p38gamma could be harnessed to improve memory in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Macquarie University

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Jul 30, 2020

Getting Gene Therapy to the Brain

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

Summary: Researchers successfully applied a gene therapy platform to completely correct brain defects in a large animal model of a human genetic disease.

Source: University of Pennsylvania

A lone genetic mutation can cause a life-changing disorder with effects on multiple body systems. Lysosomal storage diseases, for example, of which there are dozens, arise due to single mutations that affect production of critical enzymes required to metabolize large molecules in cells. These disorders affect multiple organs including, notably, the brain, causing intellectual disability of varying degrees.

Jul 29, 2020

Researchers create new brain implants with low power needs

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

The discovery could lead to long lasting brain implants that can both treat neurological disease and enable mind controlled prosthetics and machines.

A group of researchers from the University of Michigan has created a new ultra-low-power brain implant. The scientists say that the estimated reduction in power requirements is about 90% for their new creations. Not only have they reduced the power requirements for the implants, they have also made them more accurate.

Jul 29, 2020

Brain Computer Interfaces Developed by DARPA, US Department of Defense

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, military, neuroscience, robotics/AI

If you are interested in brain computer interfaces (BCI), then you need to listen to this very exciting podcast!

I have only been aware of this DARPA NNN (Next-generation Non-surgical Neurotechnology) program since mid-March, and it is my number one topic of interest. I am interested in it because I have a plan for mind uploading to extend my life indefinitely — otherwise known as superlongevity in our group — but I have no interest in allowing anyone to drill holes in my head! DARPA is looking at ways for non-invasive methods of connecting the thoughts in our brains to computers. Over time, this could be a method to capture the thoughts and memories and emotions within my mind and transfer them into a computer substrate. And, to be clear, this mind upload will, in fact, be me.

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Jul 29, 2020

Drug stimulation of neural stem cell repair leads to promising impact on treatment of childhood brain injury

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Through a cross-species study of metformin, a common drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes, a team of researchers and clinicians from the Donnelly Center and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has shown that it could one day be possible to repair brain injury using resident cells in the brain.

“No one’s actually shown before that you can take a drug where there’s a known mechanism on endogenous stem cells and demonstrate that it’s even possible to induce and positive recovery,” says Donald Mabbott, Program Head and Senior Scientist in the Neurosciences & Mental Health program at SickKids, and co-author of a study published in Nature Medicine on July 27.

Mabbott says metformin is a potential game-changer in terms of how childhood brain injury is treated.

Jul 29, 2020

Further Evidence World Trade Center Responders Are at Risk for Dementia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: First responders at the World Trade Center have reduced cortical gray matter thickness, which was consistent with neurodegenerative conditions and evidence their brain age is, on average, ten years older than those of similar ages in the general population.

Source: Stony Brook University

Two studies led by Stony Brook University researchers to be presented virtually at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on July 28, 2020, indicate that World Trade Center (WTC) first responders are at risk for developing dementia. The studies included individuals with signs of cognitive impairment (CI) who show neuroradiological abnormalities and changes in their blood similar to that seen in Alzheimer’s disease patients and those with related dementias.

Jul 28, 2020

MIT Dream Research Interacts Directly With an Individual’s Dreaming Brain and Manipulates the Content

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, wearables

Device not only helps record dream reports, but also guides dreams toward particular themes.

The study of dreams has entered the modern era in exciting ways, and researchers from MIT and other institutions have created a community dedicated to advancing the field, lending it legitimacy and expanding further research opportunities.

In a new paper, researchers from the Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces group introduce a novel method called “Targeted Dream Incubation” (TDI). This protocol, implemented through an app in conjunction with a wearable sleep-tracking sensor device, not only helps record dream reports, but also guides dreams toward particular themes by repeating targeted information at sleep onset, thereby enabling incorporation of this information into dream content. The TDI method and accompanying technology serve as tools for controlled experimentation in dream study, widening avenues for research into how dreams impact emotion, creativity, memory, and beyond.

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Jul 28, 2020

Breakthrough in autism spectrum research finds genetic ‘wrinkles’ in DNA could be a cause

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

TORONTO — In a lab at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, scientists went on a hunt through the DNA of some 10,000 families — many whom have children with autism.

Through this research, they identified something they call “genetic wrinkles” in DNA itself, a breakthrough they believe could explain why some individuals find themselves on the autistic spectrum.

The hope is that this could be an important new clue into how to diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD) early, or even treat it.

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Jul 28, 2020

Changes in Brain Cartilage May Explain Why Sleep Helps You Learn

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Summary: Altering the structure of perineuronal nets could be a mechanism that underlies sleep-induced memory changes.

Source: SfN

The morphing structure of the brain’s “cartilage cells” may regulate how memories change while you snooze, according to new research in eNeuro.

Jul 28, 2020

New paper squares economic choice with evolutionary survival

Posted by in categories: biological, existential risks, neuroscience

If given the chance, a Kenyan herder is likely to keep a mix of goats and camels. It seems like an irrational economic choice because goats reproduce faster and thus offer higher near-term herd growth. But by keeping both goats and camels, the herder lowers the variability in growth from year to year. All of this helps increase the odds of household survival, which is essentially a gamble that depends on a multiplicative process with no room for catastrophic failure. It turns out, the choice to keep camels also makes evolutionary sense: families that keep camels have a much higher probability of long-term persistence. Unlike businesses or governments, organisms can’t go into evolutionary debt—there is no borrowing one’s way back from extinction.

How biological survival relates to economic choice is the crux of a new paper published in Evolutionary Human Sciences, co-authored by Michael Price, an anthropologist and Applied Complexity Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, and James Holland Jones, a biological anthropologist and associate professor at Stanford’s Earth System Science department.

“People have wanted to make this association between evolutionary ideas and economic ideas for a long time,” Price says, and “they’ve gone about it quite a lot of different ways.” One is to equate the economic idea of maximizing utility—the satisfaction received from consuming a good—with the evolutionary idea of maximizing fitness, which is long-term reproductive success. “That utility equals fitness was simply assumed in a lot of previous work,” Price says, but it’s “a bad assumption.” The human brain evolved to solve proximate problems in ways that avoid an outcome of zero. In the Kenyan example, mixed herding diversifies risk. But more importantly, the authors note, the growth of these herds, like any biological growth process, is multiplicative and the rate of increase is stochastic.

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