Brain

In order to comprehend the continuous stream of cacophonies and visual stimulation that battle for our attention, humans will breakdown activities into smaller, more digestible chunks, a phenomenon that psychologists describe as "event structure perception."

Event structure perception was originally believed to be confined to our visual system, but new research published in the May issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reports that a similar process occurs when reading about everyday events as well.

Elderly men and women who consumed higher levels of calcium and vitamin D are significantly more likely to have greater volumes of brain lesions, regions of damage that can increase risk of cognitive impairment, dementia, depression and stroke.

Duke University scientist Dr. Martha Payne reported this finding at Experimental Biology 2007, in Washington, DC.

A compound derived from green tea greatly diminished the neurotoxicity of proteins secreted by the human immunodeficiency virus, suggesting a new approach to the prevention and treatment of HIV-associated dementia, also known as AIDS dementia complex. The disorder is the most severe form of HIV-related neuropsychiatric impairment.

Electromagnetic fields do not pose a health hazard to workers in the electrical energy supply industry, suggests a large study of 28,000 people, published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Exposure to low frequency electromagnetic fields of 50 to 60 Hz has been implicated in an increased risk of leukaemia, brain and breast cancers.

The researchers used the health and employment records of more than 22,000 utility workers at 99 different electrical energy supply companies in Denmark.

Sleep remains one of the big mysteries in biology. All animals sleep, and people who are deprived of sleep suffer physically, emotionally and intellectually. But nobody knows how sleep restores the brain.

An international team of scientists led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Department of Energy's (DOE) Joint Genome Institute has peered into the genetic makeup of two species of phytoplankton, the tiny plants key in global photosynthesis and carbon cycling, and come away with surprising results about evolutionary engineering and new ideas about the role that a poorly understood chemical element may play in the world's oceans.

Companies selling food products may need to worry about their goods catching "cooties" by coming in contact with certain other products, such as lard and feminine napkins, in shoppers' carts or on store shelves.

Based on their findings, researchers at Duke University and Arizona State University suggest companies may want to reconsider their packaging and shelf positioning strategies in order to safeguard their brands from offending products.

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified an enzyme that pumps up a cell’s ability to maintain healthy muscle and restores normal muscle function in genetically engineered mice with weak muscles. The study, published online in Nature Medicine, is the first to explore the part this enzyme plays in a cascade of events triggered by exercise-induced hormones and other signals.

New studies in the laboratory of Dr. Darwin J. Prockop, Director of Tulane University’s Center for Gene Therapy, are shedding light on the previously mysterious mechanism through which even relatively small amounts of stem/progenitor cells taken from a patient’s own bone marrow enhance repair of damaged tissues.

Mice whose brains had lost a large number of neurons due to neurodegeneration regained long-term memories and the ability to learn after their surroundings were enriched with toys and other sensory stimuli, according to new studies by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers. The scientists were able to achieve the same results when they treated the mice with a specific type of drug that encourages neuronal growth.