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Can Sleep Loss Affect Your Brain Size?

September 4, 2014 1:08 pm | News | Comments

Sleep difficulties may be linked to faster rates of decline in brain volume, according to a new study. Sleep has been proposed to be “the brain’s housekeeper,” serving to repair and restore the brain.             

BST This Week #13: Electric Current to Brain Boosts Memory

September 3, 2014 3:30 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski reveals that probing the brain with electric currents can improve memory. Our second story highlights the relationship between individuals and their personalized microbes.  

Scanner Could Aid Brain Tumor Removal, Reduce Recurrence

September 3, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

Cancerous brain tumors are notorious for growing back despite surgical attempts to remove them. But scientists are currently developing a new way to try to root out malignant cells during surgery so fewer or none get left behind to form new tumors.

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Memory-boosting Sensor Strengthens Synaptic Connections

September 3, 2014 2:02 pm | News | Comments

How does short-term memory happen at the molecular level? New research has identified a calcium sensor that helps strengthen the connections between brain cells.                           

Technique Helps ID Early Alzheimer’s

September 2, 2014 2:18 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a technique to create a highly sensitive surface for measuring the concentration of a peptide that is a biomarker for early stage Alzheimer’s disease.                     

Surprising New Role for Calcium in Sensing Pain

September 2, 2014 1:54 pm | Videos | Comments

When you accidentally touch a hot oven, you rapidly pull your hand away. Although scientists know the basic neural circuits involved in sensing and responding to such painful stimuli, they are still sorting out the molecular players. Now, researchers have made a surprising discovery about the role of a key molecule involved in pain.

Training Your Brain to Prefer Healthy Foods

September 2, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods. A brain scan study in adult men and women suggests that it is possible to reverse the addictive power of unhealthy food while also increasing preference for healthy foods.

This is Your Brain's Blood Vessels on Drugs

August 29, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

A new method for measuring and imaging how quickly blood flows in the brain could help doctors and researchers better understand how drug abuse affects the brain, which may aid in improving brain-cancer surgery and tissue engineering, and lead to better treatment options for recovering drug addicts.

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BST This Week #12: ‘Sleep Drunkenness’ May Affect 1 in 15 People

August 29, 2014 8:30 am | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski talks about “sleep drunkenness,” a sleep disorder that likely affects 1 in every 15 people. Our second story covers new research into how hummingbirds came to detect sweetness in nectar.

From Bite Site to Brain: How Rabies Virus Hijacks Nerve Cells

August 29, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

New research sheds light on how the rabies virus hijacks the transport system in nerve cells to reach the brain with maximal speed and efficiency.                              

Study Shows How Movement Affects Hearing

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

A new study combines cutting-edge methods in electrophysiology, optogenetics and behavioral analysis to reveal exactly how the motor cortex, seemingly in anticipation of movement, can tweak the volume control in the auditory cortex.     

Scientists Link Alcohol-dependence Gene to Neurotransmitter

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Scientists have solved the mystery of why a specific signaling pathway can be associated with alcohol dependence. This signaling pathway is regulated by a gene, called neurofibromatosis type 1 (Nf1), which is linked with excessive drinking in mice.

Memories' Emotional Associations Can be Reversed

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

A new study revealed the brain circuit that controls how memories become linked with positive or negative emotions, and researchers found that they could reverse the emotional association of specific memories by manipulating brain cells with optogenetics.

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Scientists Plug Into a Learning Brain

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

Learning is easier when it only requires nerve cells to rearrange existing patterns of activity than when the nerve cells have to generate new patterns, a study of monkeys has found.                   

Estrogen-based Compound Suppresses Binge Eating

August 27, 2014 1:00 pm | News | Comments

Researchers found that the hormone estrogen can specifically trigger brain serotonin neurons to inhibit binge eating, which affects about 5 to 10 percent of U.S. adults, in female mice.                 

Study Questions Long-held Depression Belief

August 27, 2014 12:40 pm | News | Comments

New evidence puts into doubt the long-standing belief that a deficiency in serotonin— a chemical messenger in the brain— plays a central role in depression.                            

BST This Week #11: Obesity Linked to Heightened Dementia Risk

August 27, 2014 11:29 am | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski highlights the link between mid-life obesity and an increased dementia risk later in life. Our second story focuses on researchers who are sequencing salamander genomes.   

Amid ALS Mania, Possible Drug Target Spotted

August 26, 2014 11:41 am | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

As, all around them, everyone from Derek Jeter to the Kennedy family was dousing themselves in ice water for the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge,” Harvard researchers announced last week they may have found an ALS therapy— or two.       

Driving Brain Rhythm Makes Mice More Sensitive to Touch

August 25, 2014 1:46 pm | News | Comments

In a new study, researchers show that they could make faint sensations more vivid by triggering a brain rhythm that appears to shift sensory attention.                             

Virus, Zebrafish Enable Scientists to Map Living Brain

August 25, 2014 1:35 pm | News | Comments

A virus and a zebrafish are helping scientists map the living brain. The model will help show how brain wiring is laid and how it functions.                                

Eye Implant Monitors Glaucoma

August 25, 2014 12:39 pm | News | Comments

For the 2.2 million Americans battling glaucoma, the main course of action for staving off blindness involves weekly visits to eye specialists who conttol increasing pressure within the eye. Now, a tiny eye implant could enable patients to take more frequent readings from the comfort of home.

BST This Week #10: Gene Mutation Key to High-Altitude Living

August 22, 2014 1:38 pm | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Christina Jakubowski covers a genetic mutation that allows high-altitude-dwelling Tibetans to survive in the peaks of the Tibetan Plateau. Our second story looks at how minor infections increase stroke risk in children.

Are Three Brain Imaging Techniques Better than One?

August 22, 2014 1:13 pm | News | Comments

To date, almost all studies of autism in children have used a single imaging technique to explore connectivity. None has been able to capture a robust picture of the brain abnormalities associated with autism— until now. Researchers are combining three imaging techniques and harnessing the best of each one.

Autistic Children Have Extra Brain Synapses

August 22, 2014 11:23 am | Videos | Comments

Children and adolescents with autism have a surplus of synapses in the brain, and this excess is due to a slowdown in a normal brain “pruning” process during development, according to a new study.                

Scientists Discover Brain Area Responsible for Exercise Motivation

August 21, 2014 11:01 am | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered an area of the brain that could control a person’s motivation to exercise and participate in other rewarding activities, potentially leading to improved treatments for depression.             

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