Picking out a face in the crowd is a complicated task: Your brain has to retrieve the memory of the face you’re seeking, then hold it in place while scanning the crowd, paying special attention to finding a match. A new study reveals how the brain achieves this type of focused attention on faces or other objects.
Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising—and crucial—link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer. Aside from better understanding neurological damage associated in a small percentage of people susceptible to breast cancers, the new work also helps to better understand the evolution of the brain.
In a new study, researchers solved an age-old mystery of touch: how cells just beneath the skin surface enable us to feel fine details and textures.
Researchers have identified a genetic association with facial asymmetry in an ancient cavefish, a natural trait that may solve mysteries surrounding facial asymmetries in humans—conditions such as cleft palate or hemifacial microsomia.
Using magnetically controlled nanoparticles to force tumor cells to ‘self-destruct’ sounds like science fiction, but could be a future part of cancer treatment, according to research from Lund University in Sweden. The new technique is much more targeted than trying to kill cancer cells with techniques such as chemotherapy.
In our third video, Rob Fee is back to discuss how informatics can help to overcome one of the biggest challenges in personalized medicine: organizing and examining the mountains of data that are generated during the gene sequencing process. Rob's advice? Find a bioinformatician...fast!
George Washington University researcher Narine Sarvazyan, PhD, has invented a new organ to help return blood flow from veins lacking functional valves. A rhythmically contracting cuff made of cardiac muscle cells surrounds the vein acting as a 'mini heart' to aid blood flow through venous segments. The cuff can be made of a patient’s own adult stem cells, eliminating the chance of implant rejection.
A small study that examined brains from children who died found abnormal patterns of cell growth in autistic children. The research bolsters evidence that something before birth might cause autism, at least in some cases.
For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere.
A new technique, developed by researchers in the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory at the Beckman Institute, provides a method to noninvasively measure human neural networks in order to characterize how they form. Using spatial light interference microscopy techniques, the researchers were able to show how human embryonic stem cell derived neurons within a network grow, organize, and dynamically transport materials to one another.
In part two of a six-part video series on personalized medicine, Andrew Wiecek discusses how personalized medicine works by highlighting the importance of biomarkers (and bananas) and showing that they play a key role in identifying genetic variations associated with disease.
University of Michigan researchers have learned how to fix a cellular structure called the Golgi that mysteriously becomes fragmented in all Alzheimer's patients and appears to be a major cause of the disease. They say that understanding this mechanism helps decode amyloid plaque formation in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
Scientists at the Harvard's Wyss Institute have built a set of self-assembling DNA cages one-tenth as wide as a bacterium. The structures are some of the largest and most complex structures ever constructed solely from DNA. The scientists visualized them using a DNA-based super-resolution microscopy method — and obtained the first sharp 3D optical images of intact synthetic DNA nanostructures in solution.
Before I left the house this morning, I let the cat out and started the dishwasher. Or was that yesterday? Very often, our memories must distinguish not just what happened and where, but when an event occurred—and what came before and after. New research shows that a part of the brain called the hippocampus stores memories by their "temporal context"—what happened before, and what came after.
Sometimes it only takes a quick jolt of electricity to get a swarm of cells moving in the right direction. Researchers found that an electrical current can be used to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells, an achievement that could establish the basis for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as “smart bandages” that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds.