Brain

Northwestern University researchers have discovered a drug that slows – and may even halt – the progression of Parkinson’s disease. The drug rejuvenates aging dopamine cells, whose death in the brain causes the symptoms of this devastating and widespread disease.

D. James Surmeier and his team of researchers have found that isradipine, a drug widely used for hypertension and stroke, restores stressed-out dopamine neurons to their vigorous younger selves.

We've all had the feeling we've been somewhere before or had a feeling we've previously had a conversation. It isn't magic or mysticism, the answer is in a set of neurons called your 'place cells.'

Much cooler than a flaming Optimus Prime, more practical than Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot - they're rescue robots, and they're here to help.

The peculiar pose of many fossilized dinosaurs, with wide-open mouth, head thrown back and recurved tail, likely results from the agonized death throes typical of brain damage and asphyxiation, according to two paleontologists.

A classic example of the posture, which has puzzled paleontologists for ages, is the 150 million-year-old Archaeopteryx, the first-known example of a feathered dinosaur and the proposed link between dinosaurs and present-day birds.

Before life emerged on earth, either a primitive kind of metabolism or an RNA-like duplicating machinery must have set the stage – so experts believe. But what preceded these pre-life steps?

A pair of UCSF scientists has developed a model explaining how simple chemical and physical processes may have laid the foundation for life. Like all useful models, theirs can be tested, and they describe how this can be done. Their model is based on simple, well-known chemical and physical laws.

Looking into the brain is yielding vital clues to understanding, diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder, according to findings being presented today at the Seventh International Conference on Bipolar Disorder.

The first study, presented by Husseini K. Manji, M.D., chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), suggests that bipolar disorder arises from abnormalities in neuronal plasticity cascades – the complex machinery inside of nerve cells that regulates numerous processes inside the body.

Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have, for the first time, used a “bionic” ear to restore hearing in a patient with von Hippel-Lindau disease.

The disease, caused by inheritance of a mutated tumor suppressor gene, occurs in 1 out of 36,000 live births, and about 30 percent of these patients develop tumors in their ears − often in both. To date, the only option to help control these tumors is repeated surgery, which is often not successful, he said. Loss of hearing is sudden, and hearing aids don’t help, Kim said.

What do glowing veggies have to do with a career in science" It just so happens that electrified pickles swimming in metal ions are one example of the type of undergraduate chemistry class demonstration that helps make a future in science a bright possibility, rather than a total turn-off, for many students.

It seems chimps can have a common culture yet also their own local traditions. Does this mean chimpanzees in Asia would learn to use chopsticks?

Yes, says a study released today, if they saw other groups doing it.

The study confirms captive chimpanzees have the capacity to sustain the same kind of multiple-tradition cultures many researchers believe exist in the wild, providing further evidence chimpanzees and humans shared a common ancestor five to six million years ago who had a similar level of cultural complexity.

Millions of people the world over suffer today from obesity, yet there is no “magic bullet” that has yet provided a universally accepted solution. However, a young researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem feels he has come up with a practical weight loss solution for the obese person without his having to feel hungry.