Current Plasticity News and Events

Current Plasticity News and Events, Plasticity News Articles.
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Organoids grown from bile duct cells repair human livers; may aid liver transplant processes
Organoids grown from bile duct epithelial cells can be used to repair damaged bile ducts in transplanted human livers, researchers report. (2021-02-18)

Researchers uncover new information on the effects of antidepressants
The findings of a new study challenge the prevailing thinking on the primary role of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the effects of antidepressants. (2021-02-18)

Study shows how some neurons compensate for death of their neighbors
By studying several neuron pairs that innervate distinct muscles in a fruit fly model, researchers found that some neurons compensate for the loss of a neighboring partner. (2021-02-17)

Small 'window of opportunity' for best recovery after stroke
An international study has shown, for the first time, that the capacity of the human brain to recover and rewire itself peaks around two weeks after a stroke and diminishes over time. (2021-02-16)

T cells depressed
In chronic infections, the immune system can become exhausted. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have looked into how this works. (2021-02-12)

Adult neurogenesis may hold clues for more effective treatment of alcoholism
Neuroplasticity, the remarkable ability of the brain to modify and reorganize itself, is affected by or in response to excessive alcohol, whether through individual consumption or exposure in the womb. It is now well accepted that the birth and integration of new neurons continue beyond development and into adulthood. New discoveries and insights on how alcohol impacts this and other plastic processes are discussed in ''Alcohol and Neural Plasticity,'' a special issue of Brain Plasticity. (2021-02-10)

Scientists find promising avenue to restore cognitive function impaired by Alzheimer's disease
A team of neuroscientists has identified a potential means to address the loss of cognitive function due to Alzheimer's disease by targeting protein synthesis in mice. Their findings reveal that synthetic pharmaceuticals could rescue the activity of brain cells needed for memory formation. (2021-02-02)

Turning on the switch for plasticity in the human brain
Shigeki Watanabe and colleagues describe how glutamate signals are transmitted across synapses to turn on the switch for synapatic plasticity, the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken over time in response to increases or decreases in their activity. (2021-01-29)

Humanizing yeast ORC sheds light on cancer therapy and human development
Researchers from the HKSUST and the HKU recently demonstrated that the selectivity determinant of Origin Recognition Complex for DNA binding lies in a 19-amino acid insertion helix in the Orc4 subunit, which is present in yeast but absent in human. (2021-01-27)

Highly specific synaptic plasticity in addiction
Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is a complex neurological condition that includes drug-seeking behavior among other cognitive, emotional and behavioral features. Synaptic plasticity, or changes in the way neurons communicate with one another, drives these addictive behaviors. A new study in Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, now shows that players in the extracellular environment - not just at neuronal interfaces - contribute to addiction plasticity. (2021-01-26)

Balancing brain cell activity
Electrical trigger sites in neurons surprisingly change with experience; they are either becoming smaller with increasing number of experiences and, vice versa, they grow larger when less input arrives in the brain. (2021-01-20)

European eels - one gene pool fits all
European eels spawn in the subtropical Sargasso Sea but spend most of their adult life in a range of fresh- and brackish waters, across Europe and Northern Africa. Using whole-genome analysis, a team of scientists led from Uppsala University provides conclusive evidence that all European eels belong to a single panmictic population irrespective of where they spend their adult life, an extraordinary finding for a species living under such variable environmental conditions. The study is published in the PNAS. (2021-01-20)

New clues to prostate cancer
Australian research has identified a new mechanism in which prostate cancer cells can 'switch' character and become resistant to therapy. These findings, just published in Cell Reports, are an important development in unravelling how an aggressive subtype of prostate cancer, neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC), develops after hormonal therapies. (2021-01-05)

Astrocytes eat connections to maintain plasticity in adult brains
Developing brains constantly sprout new neuronal connections called synapses as they learn and remember. Important connections -- the ones that are repeatedly introduced, such as how to avoid danger -- are nurtured and reinforced, while connections deemed unnecessary are pruned away. Adult brains undergo similar pruning, but it was unclear how or why synapses in the adult brain get eliminated. Now, a team of researchers based in Korea has found the mechanism underlying plasticity and, potentially, neurological disorders in adult brains. (2020-12-23)

Brain gene expression patterns predict behavior of individual honey bees
An unusual study that involved bar coding and tracking the behavior of thousands of individual honey bees in six queenless bee hives and analyzing gene expression in their brains offers new insights into how gene regulation contributes to social behavior. (2020-12-22)

Scientists develop an efficient way to produce low-cost heatsinks
NUST MISIS scientists found a way to reduce the cost of industrial and electronics heatsinks production up to 10 times. Consequently, the product itself would also cost less. The proposed methods presume the use of rubbers and silicon carbide as components, i.e. these components are mixed, pressed and sintered. The article on the research is published in Polymers. (2020-12-21)

Fungal RNA viruses: Unexpected complexity affecting more than your breakfast omelet
Traditional approaches for studying fungal RNA viruses have relied upon sequence similarity, resulting in an underestimation of RNA viral genome diversity. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba used an advanced technological approach called Fragmented and Primer Ligated Double Stranded RNA sequencing, or FLDS, to identify viral sequences that were previously overlooked. They identified novel viruses and viral genome structures and show that FLDS is a powerful tool for understanding RNA viral genome diversity. (2020-12-21)

Three-dimensionally reconstituted organoids that are just like human organs
POSTECH-Seoul National University Hospital research team publishes the new concept of assembloids in Nature. (2020-12-18)

Stress in adolescence leads to learning and memory difficulties and increased anxiety in adulthood
Stress experienced around puberty (peripubertal) worsens learning and memory in adulthood, as well as anxiety related behavior, as shown by a study led by Dr Cristina Márquez, from the Neuronal Circuits of Social Behavior laboratory at the Neuroscience Institute in Alicante (Spain). (2020-12-14)

Research dispels fears human stem cells contain cancer-causing mutations
Pioneering new research has made a pivotal breakthrough that dispel concerns that human stem cells could contain cancer-causing mutations. (2020-12-14)

Using water fleas, UTA researchers investigate adaptive evolution
Researchers from The University of Texas at Arlington resurrected the preserved eggs of a shrimp-like crustacean to examine long-standing questions about adaptive evolution, reporting the results in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. (2020-12-11)

Treating brain diseases now possible
POSTECH research team led by Professor Kyong-Tai Kim uncovers the mechanism that regulates local expression of key molecules in brain development and neurodegenerative diseases. (2020-12-01)

Guam's most endangered tree species reveals universal biological concept
Newly published research carried out at the University of Guam has used a critically endangered species to show how trees modify leaf function to best exploit prevailing light conditions. The findings revealed numerous leaf traits that change depending on the light levels during leaf construction. (2020-11-30)

Breaking the skill limit, pianists attain more delicate touch
Japanese scientists discovered a training method to further improve the delicate touch of pianists by optimizing the method rather than increase the amount of training. They developed a system that freely controls the weight of piano keys using a haptic device, which enables to control the strength and direction of the force. The results of experiments showed that enhancing the somatosensory function of fingertips with AHT could improve the accuracy of keystrokes. (2020-11-25)

Study finds sexual lineage plays key role in transgenerational plasticity
A new pair of papers published in the Journal of Animal Ecology has shown that sexual lineage matters for how offspring receive adaptations from parents in stickleback fish. Researchers in the Bell lab studied how parents who were exposed to predators passed the behavioral information to their offspring in different ways based on sex. (2020-11-18)

Catapult-like hydrogel actuator designed to deliver high contraction power
Recently, inspired by muscle-powered accelerations in biological jumpers, ZHOU Feng's group from the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics (LICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and HE Ximin's group from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have designed an elastic-driven strong contractile hydrogel through storing and releasing elastic potential energy in polymer network. (2020-11-18)

Learning a new language changes the brain's division of labor
Learning a language later in life changes how the two halves of the brain contribute. As skills improve, language comprehension changes hemisphere specialization, but production does not, according to new research published in JNeurosci. (2020-11-17)

Changes to the brain's reward system may drive overeating in mice
A combination of innate differences and diet-induced changes to the reward system may predispose some mice to overeat, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. (2020-11-16)

High temperatures threaten the survival of insects
Insects have difficulties handling the higher temperatures brought on by climate change, and might risk overheating. The ability to reproduce is also strongly affected by rising temperatures, even in northern areas of the world, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden. (2020-11-10)

Optogenetic stimulation improves alterations in Huntington's disease experimental models
A study led by researchers of the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Barcelona (UBNeuro) has characterized one of the neuronal circuits involved in the development of the Huntington's disease. The study, published in the journal eLife, shows in an animal model with the pathology, that optogenetic stimulation of the circuit causes improvements in the typical symptomatology of the disease. (2020-11-10)

Research identifies 'volume control' in the brain that supports learning and memory
A molecular regulator made of analog signals is found to regulate electrical signals in the brain. (2020-11-10)

An Amazonian tea stimulates the formation of new neurons
For centuries, indigenous societies in the Amazon have used ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic tea, for shamanic purposes. A research group led by the Complutense University of Madrid has shown that in animal models, this drink stimulates the formation of neurons and other brain cells, and thus offers a potential therapy for psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. (2020-11-06)

A malformation illustrates the incredible plasticity of the brain
One in 4,000 people is born without a corpus callosum, a brain structure consisting of neural fibres that are used to transfer information between hemisphere. 25% of them do not have any symptoms. Neuroscientists from the University of Geneva discovered that when the neuronal fibres that act as a bridge between the hemispheres are missing, the brain reorganises itself and creates an impressive number of connections inside each hemisphere, recreating connections using alternative neural pathways. (2020-10-30)

Scientists from NUST MISIS manage to improve metallic glasses
Researchers at National University of Science and Technology MISIS (NUST MISIS) have managed to develop a unique method to process bulk metallic glasses. According to the authors of the study, they have managed to find processing conditions that significantly improve the quality of this promising material. The research results were published in Journal of Alloys and Compounds. (2020-10-23)

The unexpected repair function of neutrophils
Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have discovered that neutrophils, the most abundant cells of the innate immune system, have many more functions in the body than previously thought. (2020-10-23)

Rethinking the link between cannabinoids and learning
Animals with altered cannabinoid signalling exhibit various motor and cognitive impairments, including deficits in learning and memory. A new study reveals an unexpected culprit for these effects - behavioral state. (2020-10-20)

Monash engineers improve fatigue life of high strength aluminium alloys by 25 times
A world-first study by Monash University engineers has demonstrated improvements in the fatigue life of high strength aluminium alloys by 25 times -- a significant outcome for the transport manufacturing industry. (2020-10-15)

Could a poo transplant one day be the secret of eternal youth?
Poo transplants could one day be used to restore cognitive decline among the elderly - according to new research. A new study published today shows how faecal transplants from older to younger mice altered their gut microbiome, which in turn impacted their spatial learning and memory. The research team hope the reverse could also be true, and one day used as a therapy to restore cognitive function in older people. (2020-10-02)

Nurture trumps nature in determining severity of PTSD symptoms
Researchers at Yale and elsewhere previously identified a host of genetic risk factors that help explain why some veterans are especially susceptible to the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (2020-10-01)

Innate lymphoid cells regenerate within lung
Max Planck researcher Dominic Grün teamed up with colleagues from Würzburg headed by Georg Gasteiger and generated a comprehensive atlas of Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) of the lung. Thus, they identified progenitor ILCs, comprising circulating and lung-resident progenitors, which differentiate and mature within the lung. They demonstrate that during parasitic worm infections these cells adopt the identity of mature lung ILCs, independent of their origin, and thus help to maintain the population of lung-resident ILCs. (2020-09-30)

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