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The Lancet journals: Papers at ERS Congress 2019
The following papers will be presented at the ERS Congress 2019, organised by the European Respiratory Society, in Madrid and published simultaneously in either The Lancet or The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journals. All papers are under embargo until the stated time. Contact details for corresponding authors are provided in the Articles and linked Comments. Funding information is listed on the first page of each Article. (2019-09-30)

How the brain repurposes unused regions
In adults that are born blind, the 'visual' cortex is activated in a similar way during a listening task, according to new research in JNeurosci. The results answer questions about how development can override anatomy to influence brain function. (2019-09-23)

Sound-shape associations depend on early visual experiences
Data from individuals with different types of severe visual impairment suggest that the associations we make between sounds and shapes -- a 'smooth' b or a 'spiky' k -- may form during a sensitive period of visual development in early childhood. (2019-09-09)

Tracing the evolution of vision
The function of the visual photopigment rhodopsin and its action in the retina to facilitate vision is well understood. However, there remain questions about other biological functions of this family of proteins (opsins) and this has ramifications for our understanding of several evolutionary pathways. Now, an international research team led by the University of Göttingen has shown there are other functions of opsin outside vision and this provides insights into how the eye evolved. Their research was published in Current Biology. (2019-08-22)

BES launches large-scale study to test whether 'blinding' reduces bias in science publishing
A two-year randomised controlled trial in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology will be the largest of its kind to date to assess whether hiding author details during peer review reduces bias against underrepresented groups in the science publishing process. (2019-08-21)

Optic nerve stimulation to aid the blind
EPFL scientists are investigating new ways to provide visual signals to the blind by directly stimulating the optic nerve. Their preliminary study uses a new type of neural electrode and provides distinct signals. (2019-08-19)

Second sight study at Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine researchers, in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles and Second Sight Medical Products (Los Angeles, Calif.) are using a visual cortical prosthesis to help bring sight to the blind. (2019-07-17)

At last, an AI that outperforms humans in six-player poker
Achieving a milestone in artificial intelligence (AI) by moving beyond settings involving only two players, researchers present an AI that can outperform top human professionals in six-player no-limit Texas hold'em poker, the most popular form of poker played today. (2019-07-11)

VINO's O2Amp Oxy-Iso glasses ineffective at curing colour-blindness
In their new study, they find that the O2Amp 'Oxy-Iso' glasses, marketed by the US company VINO Optics, neither improve the color vision of people with color-blindness nor correct their color-blindness. (2019-06-17)

The Lancet journals: Papers at American Diabetes Association (ADA) 2019
The following papers will be presented at the ADA conference in San Francisco and published simultaneously in either The Lancet or The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journals. All papers are under embargo until the stated time. Contact details for corresponding authors are provided in the Articles and linked Comments. Funding information is listed on the first page of each Article. (2019-06-09)

Do we judge chocolate by its wrapper?
Packaging is the first impression consumers have of food products that influences the likelihood of purchasing. A new study in the journal Heliyon, published by Elsevier, evaluates the effect of chocolate packaging design on sensory liking and willingness to purchase. Researchers found that participants expressed stronger emotional associations with the packaging than they did from tasting the chocolate. The study concluded that while taste is the predominant factor in determining subsequent purchases, perception of taste is influenced by emotions evoked by packaging. (2019-06-06)

Brighter possibilities for treating blindness
Advances in preclinical research are now being translated into innovative clinical solutions for blindness, a review published in the 10th anniversary series of science Translational Medicine depicts. (2019-06-05)

Flamingoes, elephants and sharks: How do blind adults learn about animal appearance?
They've never seen animals like hippos and sharks but adults born blind have rich insight into what they look like, a new Johns Hopkins University study found. (2019-05-21)

Collision-detecting suitcase, wayfinding app help blind people navigate airports
Carnegie Mellon University researchers say a smart suitcase that warns blind users of impending collisions and a wayfinding smartphone app can help people with visual disabilities navigate airport terminals safely and independently. (2019-05-07)

How blindness shapes sound processing
Adults who lost their vision at an early age have more refined auditory cortex responses to simple sounds than sighted individuals, according to new neuroimaging research published in JNeurosci. The study is among the first to investigate the effects of early blindness on this brain region, which may contribute to superior hearing in the blind. (2019-04-22)

Brains of blind people adapt to sharpen sense of hearing, study shows
Research from the University of Washington uses functional MRI to identify two differences in the brains of blind individuals -- differences that might be responsible for their abilities to make better use of auditory information. (2019-04-22)

OHIO study: Acetaminophen can reduce positive empathy for others
A new study by an Ohio University faculty member showed that acetaminophen limited positive empathy a person has for others while taking it. (2019-04-08)

With single gene insertion, blind mice regain sight
People left blind by retinal degeneration have one option: electronic eye implants. UC Berkeley neuroscientists have developed an alternative: gene therapy that, in tests, restored vision in blind mice. A gene for green opsin delivered via virus gave blind mice enough sight to discern patterns on an iPad at a resolution sufficient for humans to read. Given existing AAV eye therapies already approved, this new therapy could be ready for clinical trials in three years. (2019-03-15)

CVIA special issue on stable ischemic heart disease
The journal Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) has just published a new issue, Volume 3 Issue 3. This is a Special Issue on Stable Ischemic Heart Disease. (2019-02-15)

Identifying artificial intelligence 'blind spots'
A novel model developed by MIT and Microsoft researchers identifies instances in which autonomous systems have 'learned' from training examples that don't match what's actually happening in the real world. Engineers could use this model to improve the safety of artificial intelligence systems, such as driverless vehicles and autonomous robots. (2019-01-24)

A new study shows that wine experts differ by geographic region
Canadian vintners, sommeliers, journalists and other wine experts judge and rate wines differently depending on where in the country they are located. The two regions studied, British Columbia and Quebec, both come from different wine-tasting traditions and this is reflected in how they appraise wine. (2019-01-14)

Investigational cream may help patients with inflammatory skin disease
A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology indicates that an investigational nonsteroidal topical cream (PAC-14028) may be effective for treating atopic dermatitis, one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases. (2019-01-09)

How the brain reacts to loss of vision
If mice lose their vision immediately after birth due to a genetic defect, this has a considerable impact, both on the organisation of the cerebral cortex and on memory ability. Researchers demonstrated that, in the months after blindness emerged, the density of neurotransmitter receptors that regulate excitation balance and are required for memory encoding was altered in all areas of the cortex that process sensory information. Furthermore, the hippocampus, a brain region that plays a crucial role in memory processes, was profoundly affected. (2018-12-19)

Seeing and avoiding the 'blind spot' in atomic force measurements
Researchers have discovered a 'blind spot' in atomic force microscopy -- a powerful tool capable of measuring the force between two atoms, imaging the structure of individual cells and the motion of biomolecules. (2018-12-07)

Compound derived from marijuana may benefit children with epilepsy
In recent years, cannabinoids -- the active chemicals in medical marijuana -- have been increasingly touted as a potential treatment for a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. In a Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology review, investigators compare their efficacy with antiepileptic drugs for children with epilepsy. (2018-11-07)

Brain-computer interface advances improve prosthetics, therapies
Advances in connecting neural stimulation to physical control of the body are transforming the development of prosthetics and therapeutic training for people with disabilities, according to new research. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health. (2018-11-06)

How ideas go viral in academia
How ideas move through academia may depend on where those ideas come from as much as their quality, a new study suggests. (2018-11-06)

Giant flightless birds were nocturnal and possibly blind
If you encountered an elephant bird today, it would be hard to miss. Measuring in at over 10 feet tall, the extinct avian is the largest bird known to science. However, while you looked up in awe, it's likely that the big bird would not be looking back. According to brain reconstruction research led by The University of Texas at Austin, the part of the elephant bird brain that processed vision was tiny, a trait that indicates they were nocturnal and possibly blind. (2018-10-30)

Scientists from the University of Granada debunk the effectiveness of glasses for colorblind people
The EnChroma® glasses, commercialized by a North American company, do not improve color vision for color blind people or correct their color blindness, and their effect is similar to that of other glasses such as the ones used for hunting. (2018-10-26)

Wine's origin might affect acceptable price more than taste study shows
Taste might have less to do with what consumers are willing to pay for wine than you think. In fact, issues like a wine's country and region of origin sometimes had more impact on a person's willingness to pay more for a wine than taste. (2018-10-23)

Just how blind are bats? Color vision gene study examines key sensory tradeoffs
Could bats' cave-dwelling nocturnal habits over eons enhanced their echolocation acoustic abilities, but also spurred their loss of vision? A new study led by Bruno Simões, Emma Teeling and colleagues has examined this question in the evolution of color vision genes across a large and diverse group of bat species. (2018-10-16)

Clues from a Somalian cavefish about modern mammals' dark past
After millions of years living in darkness, a species of blind cavefish has lost an ancient system of DNA repair. That DNA repair system, found in organisms including bacteria, fungi, plants, and most other animals, harnesses energy from visible light to repair DNA damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) light. The findings reported in journal Current Biology on Oct. 11 are intriguing in part because only placental mammals were previously known to lack this system. (2018-10-11)

Counting (on) sheep? Promising gene therapy for visually impaired sheep now safe for human trials
A promising gene therapy for visually impaired sheep is now safe for human trials. (2018-09-17)

COPD patients suffer fewer respiratory problems if treated with targeted lung denervation
First results from a clinical trial of a procedure to open obstructed airways in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have shown that it significantly reduces problems associated with the disease and is safe. Then findings on targeted lung denervation are presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress. (2018-09-17)

Serotonin-Noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors may cause dependence and withdrawal when stopped
The difficulties that people have in discontinuing antidepressant medications has been in the news recently. An analysis published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic on the effects of discontinuing commonly used antidepressant drugs like venlafaxine and duloxetine indicates that these drugs may cause dependence and withdrawal syndromes when they are stopped. (2018-09-12)

New study questions effectiveness of invasive procedures for chronic pain
An extensive review of 25 randomized clinical trials found 'little evidence' that invasive surgery was more effective than sham or placebo procedures in reducing chronic pain. The study was published in the journal Pain Medicine. (2018-09-12)

Research brief: Researchers 3D print prototype for 'bionic eye'
A team of researchers at the University of Minnesota have, for the first time, fully 3D printed an array of light receptors on a hemispherical surface. This discovery marks a significant step toward creating a 'bionic eye' that could someday help blind people see or sighted people see better. (2018-08-28)

Can medical marijuana help treat intractable epilepsy?
A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology review examines the potential of medicinal cannabis -- or medical marijuana -- for helping patients with intractable epilepsy, in which seizures fail to come under control with standard anticonvulsant treatment. (2018-08-08)

Scientists create a UV detector based on nanocrystals synthesized by using ion implantation
Scientists at the Lobachevsky University have been working for several years to develop solar-blind photodetectors operating in the UV spectral band. In the field of electronic technology, this is an important task, since such devices cut off emission with a wavelength higher than 280 nm, which helps to avoid interference from sunlight and to record UV emission during daylight. (2018-08-06)

Study finds blind people depend on timing cues for some spatial awareness
It's a popular idea in books and movies that blind people develop super sensitive hearing to help navigate the world around them. But a study, published Aug. 1 in the journal iScience, shows that, in at least one situation, blind people have more trouble discerning the location of sounds than do people who can see. (2018-08-01)

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