Brain

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) hold great promise for benefiting degenerative diseases, and do so by invoking multiple mechanisms. Such cells can be grown in a manner compatible with clinical use (i.e., without animal feeder layers) and even without the need for immunosuppression. These were a few of a number of conclusions arrived at by an international collaboration led by Evan Y. Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., and spearheaded by a member of his lab, Jean-Pyo Lee, Ph.D., of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research ("Burnham").

It's a modern medicinal miracle. Health food advocates haven't been this excited since Psyllium took the nation by storm. Cocoa is for real and it apparently does everything.

A paradigm shift in medical education is needed, one with more emphasis on training future physicians to enhance their empathy skills and to learn to view patients as persons, not just cases, a medical education specialist at Jefferson Medical College says.

High performance schools integrate the best in today's design strategies and building technologies. Even better, they make a difference in the way children learn. Research has shown that better buildings produce better student performance, reduce operating costs and increase average daily attendance. They also are more likely to maintain teacher satisfaction and retention and reduce liability exposure.

A group of European researchers has developed a spinal cord model of the salamander and implemented it in a novel amphibious salamander-like robot. The robot changes its speed and gait in response to simple electrical signals, suggesting that the distributed neural system in the spinal cord holds the key to vertebrates’ complex locomotor capabilities.The EPFL Salamander Robot walks down to the waters of Lake Geneva. Credit: Photograph by A. Badertscher, courtesy Biologically Inspired Robotics Group, EPFL

Patients admitted to hospitals for ischemic stroke on weekends had a higher risk of dying than patients admitted during the week, in a Canadian study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

A "weekend effect" has been previously documented when looking at other conditions such as cancer and pulmonary embolism; however, little is known of its impact on stroke death.

University College London researchers have found the first physiological evidence that invisible subliminal images do attract the brain's attention on a subconscious level. The wider implication for the study, published in Current Biology, is that techniques such as subliminal advertising, now banned in the UK but still legal in the USA, certainly do leave their mark on the brain.

Let’s say a college student enters a classroom to take a test. She probably already has an idea how she will do—knowledge available before she actually takes out a pencil. But do animals possess the same ability to think about what they know or don’t know?

Something about normal, run-of-the-mill plants limits their reach upward. There's been no way to create that magical beanstalk in the fairy tales but no one knows why. For more than a century, scientists have tried to find out which part of the plant both drives and curbs growth: is it a shoot's outer waxy layer? Its inner layer studded with chloroplasts? Or the vascular system that moves nutrients and water? The answer could have great implications for modern agriculture, which desires a modern magical bean or two.

David Houle touched on this in his Berkeley and Nanotechnology article and now lots of other people are wondering the same thing. Will it be regarded as hazardous materials or tools of big corporate evildoers or as benevolent forces for change in society?