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A gene for forgetting

Could lead to new PTSD treatments
September 20, 2013

mit_memories_fade_away

A new study from MIT reveals a gene that is critical to the process of memory extinction (when older memories are replaced with new experiences).

Enhancing the activity of this gene, known as Tet1, might benefit people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by making it easier to replace fearful memories with more positive associations, says Li-Huei Tsai, director of MIT’s… read more

A gene that stimulates growth of new brain cells in adults

Discovery could provide new strategy for treating neurodegenerative disease and memory loss
June 16, 2014

Increased length of the hippocampus dentate girus (DG) for TLX gene overexpressed (Tg or transgenic mice) vs control group (WT, or wild type) (credit: Kiyohito Mura et al./PNAS)

Over-expressing a specific gene could prompt growth in adults of new neurons in the hippocampus, where learning and memory are regulated, City of Hope researchers have found.

The study, which used an animal model, found that over-expression of the TLX gene resulted in smart, faster learners that retained information better and longer.

Understanding the link between this gene and the growth of new neurons — or… read more

A Genetic Fountain of Youth

October 2, 2009

By disabling a gene involved in an important biochemical signaling pathway involving a protein called target of rapamycin (TOR), scientists have discovered a way to mimic the anti-aging benefits of caloric restriction, allowing mice to live longer and healthier lives.

This finding offers a promising drug target for combating the many health problems associated with aging.

A Genetic Link for Vision Loss

August 28, 2008

Researchers from multiple institution have identified a genetic link associated with dry macular degeneration, which they say may lead to treatments for the debilitating disease.

A genetically engineered weight-loss implant

Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner --- they're working on it
November 28, 2013

implantable_slimming_aid

ETH-Zurich biotechnologists have constructed an implantable genetic regulatory circuit that monitors blood-fat levels. In response to excessive levels, it produces a messenger substance that signals satiety (fullness) to the body. Tests on obese mice revealed that this helps them lose weight.

According to the WHO, over half the population in many industrialized nations is overweight, one in three people extremely so, with high-calorie and fatty food a lifetime on… read more

A genius explains

February 22, 2005

Daniel Tammet is an autistic savant who can perform mind-boggling mathematical calculations at breakneck speeds.

He can also describe how he does it. Now scientists are asking whether his exceptional abilities are the key to unlock the secrets of autism.

A Gentler Way to Jump-Start the Brain

May 19, 2008
(Brainsway)

An Israeli company called Brainsway has developed a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) method using multiple coils that stimulates areas deeper areas in the brain associated with depression and other neurological disorders, providing a possible treatment for patients with major depression who fail to respond to antidepressants.

Brainsway is designing different coils to tackle brain regions associated with other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and drug… read more

A giant interneuron for ‘sparse coding’

May 16, 2011

Giant Interneuron

A single giant interneuron tracks in real time the activity of several tens of thousands of neurons in an olfactory center of a locust and feeds inhibition back to all of them to control their collective output, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt have discovered.

The researchers tested how neurons (Kenyon cells) in the insect brain’s mushroom bodies  respond with great… read more

A Giant Takes On Physics’ Biggest Questions

May 15, 2007

Physicists hope the Large Hadron Collider giant particle accelerator at Cern will recreate conditions that last prevailed when the universe was less than a trillionth of a second old.

A giant telescope 80 feet in diameter to capture the Universe

Images 10 times sharper than the Hubble telescope
August 26, 2013

GMT_Magellan

The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab (SOML) at the University of Arizona is spin-casting the world’s largest telescope mirror: the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), which will be more than 80 feet in diameter.

In comparison, the mirror of the Hubble Telescope measures 94.5 inches (just over 7.5 feet) from one edge to the other; that mirror has allowed astronomers to capture some of the most miraculous… read more

A Glimmer of Hope for Fading Minds

April 13, 2004

Scientists are uncovering clues that may eventually allow them to prevent, slow or even reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers have found evidence suggesting that statins, drugs taken to lower cholesterol levels, may also protect against Alzheimer’s. Other researchers have hypothesized that medications that reduce inflammation might prove useful or that Alzheimer’s may result from “multiple hits” from a stroke, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

A Glimpse of a Future in a New Kind of Light

February 11, 2003

Lighting experts expect the pace of change in developing light-emitting diodes to pick up as researchers shrink the chips to microscopic size, improve their already impressive energy efficiency and increase their brightness. The chips are expected to move into the general home and office lighting market as early as 2007.

The eventual result, the experts say, will be savings of billions of dollars annually in energy and maintenance costs… read more

A global quantum network

June 14, 2013

Atoms, coupled to a glass fiber - the basis of the worldwide communication network of the future?

By quantum-mechanically coupling laser-cooled atoms to glass fiber cables, Vienna University of Technology researchers have developed a way to store quantum information over a long enough period of time to allow for entangling atoms hundreds of kilometers apart via fiber cables.

This finding is a fundamental building block for a global fiber-based quantum communication network, the researchers suggest.

Atoms and light

“In our… read more

A Global Social Network Without The Language Barrier – Mojofiti

February 23, 2010

The Mojofiti social networking website uses real-time machine translation to allow users to transparently collaborate with others in 27 languages.

A glove and mechanical assembly let you feel the unreal

April 4, 2002

Haptic interfaces, which add the sense of touch to virtual-reality systems, are becoming commerically available but are still expensive.CyberGrasp from San Jose-based Immersion consists of a lightweight mechanical exoskeleton that fits over a motion capture glove. It lets users manipulate virtual objects in a computer-generated world and creates the illusion of touching and grasping objects.

Woburn, MA-based SensAble Technologies makes touch-based modeling systems for industrial designers. Its FreeForm system… read more

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