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New project aims to revolutionize application of optogenetics in neuroscience

New project aims to revolutionize application of optogenetics in neuroscience

The revolution that optogenetics technology has brought to biology -- neuroscience in particular -- could be transformed all over again if a new project getting underway at Brown University and Central Michigan University is successful. [More]
Neuronal activity in the brain's prefrontal cortex is nuanced and complex, new study finds

Neuronal activity in the brain's prefrontal cortex is nuanced and complex, new study finds

Results of a new study reported this week by David Moorman of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Gary Aston-Jones of Rutgers University suggest that adjusting behavior based on previous events involves an unexpected mix of neurons working together in the brain's prefrontal cortex. [More]
Scientists discover protein that plays significant role in development of fragile X syndrome

Scientists discover protein that plays significant role in development of fragile X syndrome

Scientists at VIB and KU Leuven have discovered that the protein APP plays a significant role in the development of fragile X syndrome (FXS) at young stages. They identified an unexpected biological pathway as a promising target to ameliorate deficits associated with FXS and autism. The results have recently been published in Neuron, one of the most influential journals in the field of neuroscience. [More]
New research offers potential for early intervention to prevent neurodegenerative diseases

New research offers potential for early intervention to prevent neurodegenerative diseases

New research led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center provides the first direct evidence linking traumatic brain injury to Alzheimer's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) -- and offers the potential for early intervention to prevent the development of these debilitating neurodegenerative diseases. [More]
Gene therapy provides life-long protection to photoreceptor cells in animal model of retinitis pigmentosa

Gene therapy provides life-long protection to photoreceptor cells in animal model of retinitis pigmentosa

A collaboration between scientists in the UK and the USA has shown that gene therapy can give life-long protection to the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells responsible for colour vision in a mouse model of the most common inherited eye disorder. [More]
Studies using MRI techniques can reveal brain connectivity differences in people with ASD

Studies using MRI techniques can reveal brain connectivity differences in people with ASD

Studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques are beginning to reveal differences in brain connectivity--the ways that different parts of the brain are connected to each other and work together--in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), reports a review in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. [More]
Salk professor receives Allen Distinguished Investigator award to uncover biology of Alzheimer's disease

Salk professor receives Allen Distinguished Investigator award to uncover biology of Alzheimer's disease

The Salk Institute today announced that Rusty Gage, Salk professor in the Laboratory of Genetics, has been selected as one of five recipients of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation's Allen Distinguished Investigator (ADI) program and will be awarded $1.5 million to conduct his research. These researchers have projects aimed at uncovering the elusive biological foundations of Alzheimer's disease. [More]
Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announces ADI grants for Alzheimer's disease research

Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announces ADI grants for Alzheimer's disease research

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced today the award of Allen Distinguished Investigator (ADI) grants to five teams of researchers with projects that will open new and innovative avenues of research in Alzheimer's disease by uncovering its elusive biological roots. [More]
Isis Pharmaceuticals receives $2.15 million milestone payment to advance ISIS-SMN Rx study in children with SMA

Isis Pharmaceuticals receives $2.15 million milestone payment to advance ISIS-SMN Rx study in children with SMA

Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has earned a $2.15 million milestone payment from Biogen related to advancing the ongoing pivotal Phase 3 study (CHERISH) evaluating ISIS-SMN Rx in children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). [More]
SISSA scientists create synthetic enzymes that can differentiate between active and inactive genes

SISSA scientists create synthetic enzymes that can differentiate between active and inactive genes

Certain genetic diseases arise from a deficit of specific genes. An enzyme that amplifies gene transcription could be a viable therapy in these cases, as long as genes are not stimulated to work on the wrong part of the body. SISSA scientists have created synthetic "intelligent" enzymes which are able to differentiate between active and inactive genes and selectively stimulate the former ones. [More]
Cedars-Sinai researchers test new methods for preserving cognition in laboratory mice

Cedars-Sinai researchers test new methods for preserving cognition in laboratory mice

Cedars-Sinai researchers have successfully tested two new methods for preserving cognition in laboratory mice that exhibit features of Alzheimer's disease by using white blood cells from bone marrow and a drug for multiple sclerosis to control immune response in the brain. [More]
Discovery reveals possibility of using water for finer analysis of the brain's functioning

Discovery reveals possibility of using water for finer analysis of the brain's functioning

To observe the brain in action, scientists and physicians use imaging techniques, among which functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is the best known. These techniques are not based on direct observations of electric impulses from activated neurons, but on one of their consequences. Indeed, this stimulation triggers physiological modifications in the activated cerebral region, changes that become visible by imaging. [More]
Research shows how prion-like proteins critical for maintaining long-term memories

Research shows how prion-like proteins critical for maintaining long-term memories

Research from Eric Kandel's lab at Columbia University Medical Center has uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time. And paradoxically, it works in the same way as mechanisms that cause mad cow disease, kuru, and other degenerative brain diseases. [More]
New NEI study shows that microglia can accelerate damage wrought by blinding eye disorders

New NEI study shows that microglia can accelerate damage wrought by blinding eye disorders

Spider-like cells inside the brain, spinal cord and eye hunt for invaders, capturing and then devouring them. These cells, called microglia, often play a beneficial role by helping to clear trash and protect the central nervous system against infection. But a new study by researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) shows that they also accelerate damage wrought by blinding eye disorders, such as retinitis pigmentosa. [More]
UTHealth researchers discover new light-activated proteins that work as 'off switches' for brain cells

UTHealth researchers discover new light-activated proteins that work as 'off switches' for brain cells

Light switches for neurons have made enormous contributions to brain research by giving investigators access to "on switches" for brain cells. But, finding "off switches" has been much more challenging. [More]
Study sheds new light on how the brain forms memories

Study sheds new light on how the brain forms memories

In the first study of its kind, UCLA and United Kingdom researchers found that neurons in a specific brain region play a key role in rapidly forming memories about every day events, a finding that may result in a better understanding of memory loss and new methods to fight it in Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases. [More]
Histones steadily replaced in brain cells throughout life, find Mount Sinai researchers

Histones steadily replaced in brain cells throughout life, find Mount Sinai researchers

For decades, researchers in the genetics field have theorized that the protein spools around which DNA is wound, histones, remain constant in the brain, never changing after development in the womb. [More]
New technique that mines Twitter data can help identify potentially dangerous drug interactions

New technique that mines Twitter data can help identify potentially dangerous drug interactions

A team of scientists has invented a new technique for discovering potentially dangerous drug interactions and unknown side-effects — before they show up in medical databases, like PubMed, or even before doctors and researchers have heard of them at all. [More]
Retina contains microtubule "roadway" that provides energy required for visual processing

Retina contains microtubule "roadway" that provides energy required for visual processing

Researchers have discovered a thick band of microtubules in certain neurons in the retina that they believe acts as a transport road for mitochondria that help provide energy required for visual processing. [More]
Study on fruit flies, brewer's yeast may provide clues about cause of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Study on fruit flies, brewer's yeast may provide clues about cause of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Scientists at the University of Malta and the Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier (CNRS/Université de Montpellier) have shown that fruit flies and brewer's yeast can reveal clues about the cause of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the most common genetic killer of infants. [More]
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