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Novel method may enable quick, easy exhaustive analysis of ORs responding to specific odorants

Novel method may enable quick, easy exhaustive analysis of ORs responding to specific odorants

A research group led by Osaka University and Panasonic Corporation developed a method for making a prompt, exhaustive isolation of olfactory receptors (ORs) responding to the odorant of interest. This achievement will enable quick and easy exhaustive analysis of ORs responding to specific odorants, which previously required a great deal of time and effort. These results may be applied to biosensors capable of highly detecting only desired odorants. [More]
Researchers explore changes in Parkinson's-affected cells at different stages of the disease

Researchers explore changes in Parkinson's-affected cells at different stages of the disease

It's an unsettling thought: You could be walking around for 20 years developing Parkinson's disease and not even know it. [More]
Dopamine neuron transplants controlled by designer drug may fight Parkinson's disease in mice

Dopamine neuron transplants controlled by designer drug may fight Parkinson's disease in mice

A University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell. The cells in question are neurons and make the neurotransmitter dopamine, whose deficiency is the culprit in the widespread movement disorder Parkinson's disease. [More]
Researchers identify role of darks in visual brain maps

Researchers identify role of darks in visual brain maps

Scientists have been studying how visual space is mapped in the cerebral cortex for many decades under the assumption that the map is equal for lights and darks. Surprisingly, recent work demonstrates that visual brain maps are dark-centric and that, just as stars rotate around black holes in the Universe, lights rotate around darks in the brain representation of visual space. [More]
Experimental cancer drug Nutlin-3 shows promise in cancelling effects of fragile X syndrome

Experimental cancer drug Nutlin-3 shows promise in cancelling effects of fragile X syndrome

A University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher who studies the most common genetic intellectual disability has used an experimental drug to reverse — in mice — damage from the mutation that causes the syndrome. [More]
Scientists build semantic atlas to show how human brain organizes language

Scientists build semantic atlas to show how human brain organizes language

What if a map of the brain could help us decode people's inner thoughts? Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have taken a step in that direction by building a "semantic atlas" that shows in vivid colors and multiple dimensions how the human brain organizes language. The atlas identifies brain areas that respond to words that have similar meanings. [More]
Group of gamma-protocadherins linked with neurons help regulate growth of dendrites

Group of gamma-protocadherins linked with neurons help regulate growth of dendrites

When you think of a neuron, imagine a tree. A healthy brain cell indeed looks like a tree with a full canopy. There's a trunk, which is the cell's nucleus; there's a root system, embodied in a single axon; and there are the branches, called dendrites. [More]
Single season of contact sports can cause measurable brain changes

Single season of contact sports can cause measurable brain changes

Repeated impacts to the heads of high school football players cause measurable changes in their brains, even when no concussion occurs, according to research from UT Southwestern Medical Center's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. [More]
Same genetic changes responsible for gastrointestinal problems in children with autism

Same genetic changes responsible for gastrointestinal problems in children with autism

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have found evidence in mice that, for some types of autism, gastrointestinal difficulties may originate from the same genetic changes that lead to the behavioral and social characteristics of the condition. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. [More]
Brain chemical dopamine plays key role in representing or encoding movement

Brain chemical dopamine plays key role in representing or encoding movement

Princeton University researchers have found that dopamine - a brain chemical involved in learning, motivation and many other functions - also has a direct role in representing or encoding movement. The finding could help researchers better understand dopamine's role in movement-related disorders such as Parkinson's disease. [More]
Unique mouse model could help study genetic origins and potential treatments for ALS

Unique mouse model could help study genetic origins and potential treatments for ALS

University of Florida Health researchers have developed a unique mouse model that will allow researchers around the world to better study the genetic origins and potential treatments for a neurodegenerative brain disease that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, and frontotemporal dementia. [More]
Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Because billions of neurons are packed into our brain, the neuronal circuits that are responsible for controlling our behaviors are by necessity highly intermingled. This tangled web makes it complicated for scientists to determine exactly which circuits do what. Now, using two laboratory techniques pioneered in part at Caltech, Caltech researchers have mapped out the pathways of a set of neurons responsible for the kinds of motor impairments--such as difficulty walking--found in patients with Parkinson's disease. [More]
Scientists discover CD2AP protein that plays key role in nervous system

Scientists discover CD2AP protein that plays key role in nervous system

University of Louisville researchers have discovered that a protein previously known for its role in kidney function also plays a significant role in the nervous system. In an article featured in the April 13 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, they show that the adaptor protein CD2AP is a key player in a type of neural growth known as collateral sprouting. [More]
Researchers discover new, previously underappreciated role for immature dentate gyrus granule cells

Researchers discover new, previously underappreciated role for immature dentate gyrus granule cells

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have proposed a model that resolves a seeming paradox in one of the most intriguing areas of the brain -- the dentate gyrus. [More]
Actin filaments may be key to molecular machinery that forms, stores long-term memories

Actin filaments may be key to molecular machinery that forms, stores long-term memories

Thank the little "muscles" in your neurons for allowing you to remember where you live, what your friends and family look like and a lot more. [More]
Irvine neurobiologists find new way to change damaging course of Huntington disease

Irvine neurobiologists find new way to change damaging course of Huntington disease

A study appearing April 14 in the journal Neuron suggests there may be a new way to change the damaging course of Huntington disease. [More]
Scientists identify unique memory suppressor gene that could provide clues for new Alzheimer’s disease treatments

Scientists identify unique memory suppressor gene that could provide clues for new Alzheimer’s disease treatments

While research has identified hundreds of genes required for normal memory formation, genes that suppress memory are of special interest because they offer insights into how the brain prioritizes and manages all of the information, including memories, that it takes in every day. [More]
Scientists identify key pathway that regulates 'switch' between wakefulness and sleep

Scientists identify key pathway that regulates 'switch' between wakefulness and sleep

Falling asleep and waking up are key transitions in everyone's day. Millions of people have trouble with these transitions - they find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, and hard to stay awake during the day. Despite decades of research, how these transitions work - the neurobiological mechanics of our circadian rhythm - has remained largely a mystery to brain scientists. [More]
Newly found mechanism of color vision illustrates why people perceive color blue in dim light

Newly found mechanism of color vision illustrates why people perceive color blue in dim light

The swirling skies of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night illustrate a mystery that has eluded biologists for more than a century--why do we perceive the color blue in the dimly lit night sky? A newly discovered mechanism of color vision in mice might help answer this question, Caltech researchers say. [More]
Glial cells can modulate specific nerve endings in the brain, find Rockefeller scientists

Glial cells can modulate specific nerve endings in the brain, find Rockefeller scientists

More than half of our brains are made up of glial cells, which wrap around nerve fibers and insulate them--similarly to how the plastic casing of an electric cable insulates the copper wire within--allowing electrical and chemical impulses to travel faster. [More]
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