Neurons communicate with each other by sending out rapid pulses of electrical signals called spikes. At first glance, the generation of these spikes can be very reliable: when an isolated neuron is repeatedly given exactly the same electrical input, we find the same pattern of spikes. Why, then, does the activity of cortical neurons in a live animal fluctuate and actually seem so variable?

34 million years ago the warm 'greenhouse climate' of the dinosaur age ended and the colder 'icehouse climate' of today commenced. Antarctica glaciated first and geological data imply that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, the global ocean conveyor belt of heat and nutrients that today helps keep Europe warm, also started at this time. Why exactly, has remained a mystery.

Fukuoka, Japan - The threat of explosive volcanic eruptions looms over many cities around the world. Earthquakes, another major geological hazard, are known to have some relationships with the occurrence of volcanic eruptions. Although they often precede volcanic events, the mechanisms of these relationships are not yet well understood.

Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is the leading cause of greenhouse effects and global warming. Notably, rapid climate warming can, in turn, either increase or decrease land carbon uptake, leading to negative or positive carbon cycle-climate change feedback, respectively.

Scientists previously did not understand what caused the direction of carbon-climate feedback, making it difficult to predict future climate warming.

Amsterdam, NL, August 22, 2019 - Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common movement disorders in children. A growing number of caregivers worldwide are caring for children, adolescents and adults with child-onset CP.

Trainee doctors who have dyslexia, and who declare this prior to taking the clinical skills component of the licensing exam for general practice, are less likely to pass than their counterparts, new research has shown.

If you've never seen a horseshoe bat, you're missing out. Their comically large ears are only rivaled for wackiest feature by their nose leaves, little flaps of skin that spread outward from their faces like petals. If you grew up with siblings who would say, "That's you," when they saw an ugly creature on TV, they'd have a field day with horseshoe bats.

Many forms of vision loss stem from a common source: impaired communication between the eye and the brain. And at the root of all eye-to-brain communication are the hundreds of proteins generated by the retina's nerve cells.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A recent study finds that acupressure, a traditional Chinese medicine technique, can improve chronic pain symptoms in the lower back.

WOODS HOLE, Mass. -- When sparks fly to innovate new technologies for imaging life at the microscopic scale, often diverse researchers are nudging each other with a kind of collegial one-upmanship.

Artificial intelligence (AI) still has a lot to learn from animal brains, says Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) neuroscientist Anthony Zador. Now, he's hoping that lessons from neuroscience can help the next generation of artificial intelligence overcome some particularly difficult barriers.

Fiddler crabs see the polarisation of light and this gives them the edge when it comes to spotting potentials threats, such as a rival crab or a predator. Now researchers at the University of Bristol have begun to unravel how this information is processed within the crab's brain. The study, published in Science Advances today [Wednesday 21 August], has discovered that when detecting approaching objects, fiddler crabs separate polarisation and brightness information.

Macrocyclic compounds are ring-shaped molecules made by connecting two ends of linear molecules. One of their unique and exciting properties is that their cyclical configuration reduces their flexibility, which means that macrocycles need less energy to bind targets than conventional small molecules.

The majority of soft robots today rely on external power and control, keeping them tethered to off-board systems or rigged with hard components. Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Caltech have developed soft robotic systems, inspired by origami, that can move and change shape in response to external stimuli, paving the way for fully untethered soft robots.

The research is published in Science Robotics.

A research team led by the University of California San Diego has discovered the root cause of why lithium metal batteries fail--bits of lithium metal deposits break off from the surface of the anode during discharging and are trapped as "dead" or inactive lithium that the battery can no longer access.