Brain

Ancient shrimp-like animals had 'modern' hearts and blood vessels

Ancient shrimp-like animals had 'modern' hearts and blood vessels

An international team of researchers from the University of Arizona, China and the United Kingdom has discovered the earliest known cardiovascular system, and the first to clearly show a sophisticated system complete with heart and blood vessels, in fossilized remains of an extinct marine creature that lived over half a billion years ago. The finding sheds new light on the evolution of body organization in the animal kingdom and shows that even the earliest creatures had internal organizational systems that strongly resemble those found in their modern descendants.

Scripps Research Institute scientists provide new grasp of soft touch

Scripps Research Institute scientists provide new grasp of soft touch

LA JOLLA, CA—April 6, 2014—A study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has helped solve a long-standing mystery about the sense of touch.

US schoolchildren exposed to arsenic in well water have lower IQ scores

Movies synchronize brains

When we watch a movie, our brains react to it immediately in a way similar to brains of other people. Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have succeeded in developing a method fast enough to observe immediate changes in the function of the brain even when watching a movie.

By employing movies it was possible to investigate the function of the human brain in experimental conditions that are close to natural. Traditionally, in neuroscience research, simple stimuli, such as checkerboard patterns or single images, have been used.

Caffeine against Alzheimer's disease

As part of a German-French research project, a team led by Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer's disease. The two-years project was supported with 30,000 Euro from the non-profit Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V. (AFI) and with 50,000 Euro from the French Partner organization LECMA. The initial results were published in the online edition of the journal "Neurobiology of Aging."

Hi-tech innovation gauges science learning in preschoolers

Children see domestic violence that often goes unreported, research finds

WASHINGTON — A nationwide study of children who have witnessed domestic violence found that parents or caregivers were physically injured in more than a third of the cases, yet only a small fraction of offenders went to jail and just one in four incidents resulted in police reports, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Columbia scientists identify key cells in touch sensation

NEW YORK, NY, April 6, 2014 — In a study published in the April 6 online edition of the journal Nature, a team of Columbia University Medical Center researchers led by Ellen Lumpkin, PhD, associate professor of somatosensory biology, solve an age-old mystery of touch: how cells just beneath the skin surface enable us to feel fine details and textures.

Does a junk food diet make you lazy? UCLA psychology study offers answer

A new UCLA psychology study provides evidence that being overweight makes people tired and sedentary — not the other way around.

Life scientists led by UCLA's Aaron Blaisdell placed 32 female rats on one of two diets for six months. The first, a standard rat's diet, consisted of relatively unprocessed foods like ground corn and fish meal. The ingredients in the second were highly processed, of lower quality and included substantially more sugar — a proxy for a junk food diet.

Light-activated neurons from stem cells restore function to paralyzed muscles

A new way to artificially control muscles using light, with the potential to restore function to muscles paralysed by conditions such as motor neuron disease and spinal cord injury, has been developed by scientists at UCL and King's College London.

The technique involves transplanting specially-designed motor neurons created from stem cells into injured nerve branches. These motor neurons are designed to react to pulses of blue light, allowing scientists to fine-tune muscle control by adjusting the intensity, duration and frequency of the light pulses.