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Aggression influences new nerve cell production in the brain

Aggression influences new nerve cell production in the brain

A group of neurobiologists from Russia and the USA, including Dmitry Smagin, Tatyana Michurina, and Grigori Enikolopov from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, have proven experimentally that aggression has an influence on the production of new nerve cells in the brain. [More]
CMU joins $12 million research project to reverse-engineer the brain's secret algorithms

CMU joins $12 million research project to reverse-engineer the brain's secret algorithms

Carnegie Mellon University is embarking on a five-year, $12 million research effort to reverse-engineer the brain, seeking to unlock the secrets of neural circuitry and the brain's learning methods. Researchers will use these insights to make computers think more like humans. [More]
Study reveals fetal origin for social and repetitive behavior deficits

Study reveals fetal origin for social and repetitive behavior deficits

Fetal development has been known to play an important role in social interaction, a fundamental behavior found in nearly all organisms, and later adult social behaviors. Autism, a highly heritable neurodevelopment disorder that causes difficulties with social interactions, has been postulated to be caused by neuron overgrowth in the prenatal period, although the precise timing and cause of this overgrowth has been unknown. [More]
'Housekeeping' gene may have a link to male infertility

'Housekeeping' gene may have a link to male infertility

Researchers at Iowa State University have found evidence that a "housekeeping" gene present in every cell of the body may have a link to male infertility. [More]
Understanding crucial role of 'healthy' brain in preventing memory failures linked to Alzheimer's disease

Understanding crucial role of 'healthy' brain in preventing memory failures linked to Alzheimer's disease

The mechanisms underlying the stability and plasticity of neural circuits in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for spatial memory and the memory of everyday facts and events, has been a major focus of study in the field of neuroscience. Understanding precisely how a "healthy" brain stores and processes information is crucial to preventing and reversing the memory failures associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of late-life dementia. [More]
New study lays foundation for future gene replacement therapies to treat ALS patients

New study lays foundation for future gene replacement therapies to treat ALS patients

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to specifically modify gene expression in diseased upper motor neurons, brain cells that break down in ALS. [More]
Human brain uses several frequency channels for communication

Human brain uses several frequency channels for communication

In the brain, the visual cortex processes visual information and passes it from lower to higher areas of the brain. However, information also flows in the opposite direction, e.g. to direct attention to particular stimuli. But how does the brain know which path the information should take? Researchers at the Ernst Strüngmann Institute for Neuroscience in Frankfurt in Cooperation with Max Planck Society have now demonstrated that the visual cortex of human subjects uses different frequency channels depending on the direction in which information is being transported. [More]
Brain's natural plasticity could compensate for inner ear damage

Brain's natural plasticity could compensate for inner ear damage

Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School have described, for the first time, the adult brain's ability to compensate for a near-complete loss of auditory nerve fibers that link the ear to the brain. The findings, published in the current issue of Neuron, suggest that the brain's natural plasticity can compensate for inner ear damage to bring sound detection abilities back within normal limits; however, it does not recover speech intelligibility. [More]
Study could open door for new treatment targets to help Parkinson's disease patients walk more easily

Study could open door for new treatment targets to help Parkinson's disease patients walk more easily

Two secrets of one of the brain's most enigmatic regions have finally been revealed. In a pair of new studies, scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered a specific neural circuit that controls walking, and they found that input to this circuit is disrupted in Parkinson's disease. [More]
Researchers create new neuronal connections for the first time

Researchers create new neuronal connections for the first time

That very fine hair-line object that you see being pulled across the screen is actually a neuron being made. A research team led by McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute has managed to create new functional connections between neurons for the first time. Apart from the fact that these artificial neurons grow over 60 times faster than neurons naturally do, they are indistinguishable from ones that grow naturally in our bodies. [More]
Synaptic plasticity alterations responsible for memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease

Synaptic plasticity alterations responsible for memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease

Neurons communicate with one another by synaptic connections, where information is exchanged from one neuron to its neighbor. These connections are not static, but are continuously modulated in response to the ongoing activity (or experience) of the neuron. This process, known as synaptic plasticity, is a fundamental mechanism for learning and memory in humans as in all animals. [More]
Preventing memory loss in Alzheimer's Disease, a new key mechanism

Preventing memory loss in Alzheimer's Disease, a new key mechanism

Neurons communicate with one another by synaptic connections, where information is exchanged from one neuron to its neighbor. These connections are not static, but are continuously modulated in response to the ongoing activity (or experience) of the neuron. [More]
Researchers identify protein that could protect against toxic degeneration of cells in ALS

Researchers identify protein that could protect against toxic degeneration of cells in ALS

J. Gavin Daigle, a PhD candidate at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Graduate Studies, is the first author of a paper whose findings reveal another piece of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) puzzle. [More]
Johns Hopkins study shows high doses of cocaine kill brain cells

Johns Hopkins study shows high doses of cocaine kill brain cells

Working with mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins have contributed significant new evidence to support the idea that high doses of cocaine kill brain cells by triggering overactive autophagy, a process in which cells literally digest their own insides. Their results, moreover, bring with them a possible antidote, an experimental compound dubbed CGP3466B. [More]
Gene linked to autism lays groundwork for crucial brain structure during prenatal development

Gene linked to autism lays groundwork for crucial brain structure during prenatal development

A gene linked to mental disorders helps lays the foundation for a crucial brain structure during prenatal development, according to Salk Institute research published January 14, 2016 in Cell Reports. [More]
Determining ectopeptidase activity: an interview with Professor Stephen Weber, University of Pittsburgh

Determining ectopeptidase activity: an interview with Professor Stephen Weber, University of Pittsburgh

The scope of the activity of neuropeptides is remarkably broad. For example, neuropeptides are involved in pain control, mood/depression/eating disorders, social and emotional behaviour, body weight, drug abuse, stress, reproduction, motor control, memory, and in maintaining neuronal health when they are stressed. [More]
UCLA discovery could lead to new therapies for autism

UCLA discovery could lead to new therapies for autism

UCLA scientists have discovered that an overlooked region in brain cells houses a motherlode of mutated genes previously tied to autism. Recently published in Neuron, the finding could provide fresh drug targets and lead to new therapies for the disorder, which affects one in 68 children in the United States. [More]
Scientists identify unusual regulator of body weight, metabolic syndrome

Scientists identify unusual regulator of body weight, metabolic syndrome

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered an unusual regulator of body weight and the metabolic syndrome: a molecular mechanism more commonly associated with brain cells. Lowering levels of P75 neurotrophin receptor (NTR)--a receptor involved in neuron growth and survival--protected mice fed a high-fat diet from developing obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver disease. [More]
Scientists discover protein interaction that describes aggressive subtype of medulloblastoma

Scientists discover protein interaction that describes aggressive subtype of medulloblastoma

Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the University of Würzburg in Germany have identified a protein interaction that is a hallmark of an aggressive subtype of medulloblastoma and that may provide a new treatment strategy. [More]
DNA-binding protein acts like genetic traffic signal to orchestrate early stage embryonic development

DNA-binding protein acts like genetic traffic signal to orchestrate early stage embryonic development

New research by UC San Francisco stem cell biologists has revealed that a DNA-binding protein called Foxd3 acts like a genetic traffic signal, holding that ball of undifferentiated cells in a state of readiness for its great transformation in the third week of development. [More]
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