Popular Neurobiology News and Current Events

Popular Neurobiology News and Current Events, Neurobiology News Articles.
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Easy on the eyes
New computer program uses artificial intelligence to determine what visual neurons like to see. Algorithm generates synthetic images that morph into 'super stimulus' for neurons, removing inherent bias of using natural images to gauge preferences. The approach could shed light on learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other neurologic conditions. (2019-05-02)

DNA 'tattoos' link adult, daughter stem cells in planarians
Using the molecular equivalent of a tattoo on DNA that adult stem cells pass to their (2008-09-10)

Researchers discover key link between mitochondria and cocaine addiction
Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine identified significant mitochondrial changes that take place in cocaine addiction, and they have been able to block them. (2017-12-20)

Drug reverses mental retardation caused by genetic disorder
A new UCLA study shows that the FDA-approved drug rapamycin reverses mental retardation in mice with a genetic disease called tuberous sclerosis complex. Because half of TSC patients also suffer from autism, the findings offer a possible mechanism for addressing learning disorders due to autism. (2008-06-22)

Biomarkers facilitate early detection of glaucoma
Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have identified new potential biomarkers that may facilitate early detection of glaucoma in patients. Moreover, they ascertained that the mutation of a certain gene in mice causes intraocular pressure elevation. This, in turn, is one of the main risk factors for glaucoma. (2018-10-25)

PET tracer could help predict treatment effectiveness for depression
A positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent could show, ahead of time, whether a specific treatment is likely to be effective for major depressive disorder (MDD) -- a debilitating condition that affects more than 14 million Americans. No such marker is currently available in clinical psychiatry. The study is featured in the April issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. (2018-04-06)

Food cue-related brain activity linked to obesity?
A unique pattern of gene expression observed in rats may be linked to a conditioned desire for food and excessive food intake, an article published today in BMC Biology suggests. (2007-04-26)

New methods identify and manipulate 'newborn' cells in animal model of Parkinson's disease
A research team from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and Lund University in Sweden used an engineered virus to deliver a protein that glows green when exposed to blue light (green fluorescent protein) into newborn cells of the striatum in an animal model of Parkinson's disease. (2008-09-03)

Supply bottleneck impairs nerve function
Impaired transport processes in neurons contribute to diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AML). Würzburg scientists have now identified key actors in these processes. (2018-03-08)

Glutamate receptor affects the development of brain cells after birth
It had been previously assumed that this protein is only relevant in adults. But this is not the case. (2018-12-06)

Genetic insights may explain retinal growth, eye cancer
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered the role of several key genes in the development of the retina, and in the process have taken a significant step toward understanding how to prevent or cure the potentially deadly eye cancer retinoblastoma. (2006-05-08)

Why is impulsive aggression in children so difficult to treat?
Maladaptive and impulsive aggression is explosive, triggered by routine environmental cues, and intended to harm another person, making it a significant challenge for clinicians, family members, and others who interact with affected children and adolescents. Efforts to develop effective treatments would benefit from better descriptive and quantitative methods to characterize this disorder, as described in an article (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cap.2015.0204) published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. (2016-02-23)

Nerve growth factor: Early studies and recent clinical trials
NGF is the first discovered member of a family of neurotrophic factors, collectively indicated as neurotrophins, (which include brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3 and neurotrophin 4/5). NGF was discovered for its action on the survival and differentiation of selected populations of peripheral neurons. (2019-01-18)

The miseries of allergies just may help prevent some cancers, study finds
There may be a silver -- and healthy -- lining to the miserable cloud of allergy symptoms: Sneezing, coughing, tearing and itching just may help prevent cancer -- particularly colon, skin, bladder, mouth, throat, uterus and cervix, lung and gastrointestinal tract cancer, according to a new Cornell study. (2008-11-11)

Newfound primate teeth take a big bite out of the evolutionary tree of life
Fossil hunters have found part of an ancient primate jawbone related to lemurs -- the primitive primate group distantly connected to monkeys, apes and humans, a USC researcher said. Scientists named the new species Ramadapis sahnii and said that it existed 11 to 14 million years ago. It is a member of the ancient Sivaladapidae primate family, consumed leaves and was about the size of a house cat. (2017-02-27)

Emerging role of adenosine in brain disorders and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
The role of adenosine in neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration has led to growing attention on adenosine receptors as potential drug targets in a range of brain disorders, including neuroregenerative therapy and treatment for amyotrophyic lateral sclerosis (ALS). (2019-12-06)

The protein dress of a neuron
New method marks proteins and reveals the receptors in which neurons are dressed (2020-11-01)

The love lives of fruit flies
New study reveals that a male fruit fly's decision to court or ignore a female stems from the convergence of motivation, perception and chance. The triad affects the balance of excitatory versus inhibitory signals in the brain to influence decision making. Findings may yield insights about addiction disorders, depression. (2018-07-13)

Fight or flight: Serotonin neurons prompt brain to make the right call
Known for its role in relieving depression, the neurochemical serotonin may also help the brain execute instantaneous, appropriate behaviors in emergency situations, according to a new Cornell study published Feb. 1 in Science. (2019-01-31)

Cicardian system suffers and protects from prenatal cocaine exposure
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have shown that prenatal cocaine exposure in zebrafish (which share the majority of the same genes with humans) can alter neuronal development and acutely dysregulate the expression of circadian genes and those affecting melatonin signaling, growth and neurotransmission. The circadian factors, including the principal circadian hormone melatonin, can attenuate the prenatal effects of cocaine. These findings appear in the July 11 issue of the journal PLoS ONE. (2007-07-10)

Cycles of reward: New insight into ADHD treatment
Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) in collaboration with scientists at the University of Otago and the University of Auckland in New Zealand, investigated the actions of the drug in rats. Using dopamine cell recordings, electrochemical monitoring and computer modeling, they discovered a type of feedback loop that modulates dopamine levels in the rats' brains in response to the drug. This regulatory process may shed light on methylphenidate's therapeutic properties in ADHD. (2019-10-30)

Stanford study of owls finds link in brain between sight and sound
Two scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have taken a big step toward sorting out how the brain accomplishes this task. In the Jan. 19 issue of Nature, the researchers show that a mechanism for prioritizing information - previously reported only in primates - is also used by birds. (2006-01-18)

Autism and the smell of fear
Autism typically involves the inability to read social cues. We most often associate this with visual difficulty in interpreting facial expression, but new research at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests that the sense of smell may also play a central role in autism. (2017-11-27)

Endangered species: Who will teach anatomy in 2010?
Are there too many, too few, or just enough future anatomists in the training pipeline to meet teaching needs in the coming years? The answer to that question should matter to anyone who ever has an x-ray, goes to a physical therapist, takes a new medication, or sees a doctor. (2005-04-04)

Smoking cessation: a genetic mutation involved in relapse
Why is it so difficult to stop smoking? Why do some people relapse months after giving up? Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS, in collaboration with Sorbonne University and Inserm, have demonstrated that a genetic mutation already known to be involved in sensitivity to nicotine also plays a role in relapse behavior after cessation in rats. The findings will be published in the journal Current Biology on Oct. 4, 2018. (2018-10-04)

Controlling and visualizing receptor signals in neural cells with light
Using a novel optogenetic tool, researchers have successfully controlled, reproduced and visualized serotonin receptor signals in neural cells. To this end, they modified a photosensitive membrane receptor in the eye, namely melanopsin. They were able to switch the receptor on and off using light; it also acted like a sensor indicating via fluorescence if specific signalling pathways in the cell had been activated. The sensor was, moreover, specifically designed to migrate to those domains in the neural cells that are sensitive to the neurotransmitter serotonin. (2019-02-14)

People undergoing voluntary and involuntary ECT treatment have similar outcomes
People who have involuntary electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression have similar outcomes to those who have voluntary treatment, according to a ground-breaking new study conducted by researchers from Trinity College Dublin. (2018-06-28)

How Birds Sing
In a finding with implications to human speech acquisition, University of Chicago researchers have shown how a birdâs brain controls singing and demonstrated for the first time that structures higher up in the brain directly control the more abstract information, while the component bits are managed by lower brain centers (1996-09-27)

New brain cells listen before they talk
Newly-created neurons in adults rely on signals from distant brain regions to regulate their maturation and survival -- which has implications for using adult stem cells to replace those lost by trauma or neurodegeneration. (2007-10-30)

Making biological drugs with spider silk protein
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have managed to synthesise lung surfactant, a drug used in the care of preterm babies, by mimicking the production of spider silk. Animal studies reveal it to be just as effective as the biological drugs currently in clinical use. The study is published in Nature Communications. (2017-05-23)

Inhibitory systems control the pattern of activity in the cortex
Inhibitory systems are essential for controlling the pattern of activity in the cortex, which has important implications for the mechanisms of cortical operation. (2005-08-26)

Uncovering the secrets of sleep and circadian rhythms
Our circadian rhythms tell us when it's time to sleep and energize us at different times of the day; evidence suggests it also plays a role in the development of diseases such as cancer. Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces the launch of a new open-access journal that will publish latest research on sleep and circadian rhythms. (2015-10-14)

New cell therapy improves memory and stops seizures following TBI
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine developed a breakthrough cell therapy to improve memory and prevent seizures in mice following traumatic brain injury. The study, titled ''Transplanted interneurons improve memory precision after traumatic brain injury,'' was published today in Nature Communications. (2019-11-15)

New therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases
The focus of work in the Neurosciences Department's Neurobiology Laboratory at the University of the Basque Country's Faculty of Medicine and Odontology is the investigation of the molecular and cellular bases of neurodegenerative illnesses -- those that affect the brain and the spinal cord. (2007-05-10)

Thriving on teamwork: new research shows how brain cells filter information in groups
For decades, scientists studying the visual system thought that individual brain cells, called neurons, operate as filters. Some neurons would prefer coarse details of the visual scene and ignore fine details, while others would do the opposite. Every neuron was thought to do its own filtering. A new study led by Salk Institute researchers reveals that the same neurons that prefer coarse details could change to prefer finer details under different conditions. (2018-12-31)

For the first time: A method for measuring animal personality
A study on mice shows animal research may need to take into account the connection between genes, behavior and personality. (2019-11-11)

Calculating whiskers send precise information to the brain
In research recently published in Nature Neuroscience, Weizmann Institute scientists found that for rats, which use their whiskers to feel out their surroundings at night, clumps of nerve endings called mechanoreceptors located at the base of each whisker act as tiny calculators. (2016-01-28)

Novel epigenetic control found for critical brain proteins in memory strengthening
Researchers have found a mechanism that links epigenetic changes to translational control during fear memory reconsolidation. They report that several particular epigenetic changes in the hippocampus of the rat brain control downstream regulation of translation in brain neurons, acting through a gene called Pten. The downstream target affected by changes in PTEN enzyme levels is the AKT-mTOR pathway, one of the main translation control pathways involved in memory reconsolidation. (2018-09-06)

'Baby talk' can help songbirds learn their tunes
Adult songbirds modify their vocalizations when singing to juveniles in the same way that humans alter their speech when talking to babies. The resulting brain activity in young birds could shed light on speech learning and certain developmental disorders in humans, according to a study by McGill University researchers. (2016-05-31)

Scientists tackle the aberrant epigenetic programming underlying childhood cancers
Researchers at UFRGS and the US NIH have targeted proteins that regulate chromatin in Ewing sarcoma cells, hindering malignant tumor growth. They induced chromatic relaxation by treating the cells with histone deacetylase inhibitors, reducing expression of the EWSR1-FLI-1 oncogene and other pluripotency/cell viability genes, while impairing sarcoma cell survival and growth. Decreased survival of stem-like cancer cells and re-expression of a neuronal differentiation marker were also observed. (2018-02-20)

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