Most frequent travelers have their own home remedies for jet lag, using techniques from light meditation to walking barefoot across a fluffy carpet. Now, a joint effort by researchers at the Brigham & Women's Hospital and the University of Michigan has produced a new remedy that has been proven effective in clinical studies: a computer program.
The search for a memory trace', the chemical and biophysical changes that occur in the brain when we form memories, has been one of the most researched areas in neuroscience. Despite this, many important questions remain unanswered, such as: what factors influence whether a neuron will be incorporated into a memory network, and indeed, is there a network of neurons responsible for a specific memory?
On June 5th 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that an anti-diarrheal vaccine has been approved for use. The vaccine targets the rotavirus, a vicious double-stranded RNA virus that is the leading cause of severe diarrhea among children.
With the number of internet users going up daily, there is an increasing demand for high speed and reliable internet access. Current telecommunications networks must convert optical signals to electrical signals, a somewhat inefficient process. An international team of researchers from Lehigh University, University of Karlsruhe in Germany, Ghent University in Belgium and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich say that a full optical pathway could provide a tremendous boost to data processing. They are getting closer to this goal,by going organic! They have discovered an organic silicon material, of which a description was published on the Nature Photonics website on March 15th, with unprecedented optical quality.
Spending hours in front of a TV playing video games may actually be good for teenagers. Previous studies have shown that these games enhance motor skills and reaction time, but this time around, a study published in April's issue of Nature Neuroscience demonstrates that playing violent video games improves visual functions in young males. The study was a joint effort between researchers from the University of Rochester and Tel Aviv University.
Visits to auto body shops might become obsolete after Marek Urban, a researcher from the University of Southern Mississippi, announced the development of a car paint that heals itself from scratches when exposed to sunlight. By adding a chemically modified version of chitosan, a crab shell component, to polyurethane, Urban's team obtained the remarkable coating. Their study was published in the March 13 issue of Science.
Two years ago, Mary Schweitzer stirred paleontologists all over the world after announcing that she had recovered intact proteins from a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex. Her findings defied the general belief that proteins degrade over time, and hence were received amidst much skepticism and controversy. However, Schweitzer's paper in the May 1st edition of Science confirms that her techniques revolutionized paleontology. Along with her team from North Carolina State University, she has recently found intact proteins in an 80-million-year-old duck-billed dinosaur.
Our fascination with extraterrestrial life has grown over the years, with the first unmanned voyage to Mars and the iconic hollow-eyed, slithery green alien frequenting sci-fi movies and novels. Are aliens simply objects of the imagination, or have we just not looked long and far enough?
01 November 2008 - The memories of the violent tsunami that ravaged the coastal areas of Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia in 2004 are still very vivid, with the victims still in the process of rebuilding their communities. There is, however, hope of minimizing casualties if such a disaster were to happen again, in the unlikely form of a mathematical formula.
I once heard the story of ten medical students that went forth to their biochemistry class. And five of them were wise and five were foolish. They that were foolish, took their cell phones and laptops, but failed to bring their pencils, erasers, and calculators. But, the wise always took their pencils, erasers, and calculators with them. While the class proceeded, they all listened attentively. And, during the middle of the class was a cry made, "Behold, the professor cometh with a surprise exam!" Then all of the students arose, and got ready their material. And the foolish said unto the wise, "Give us your pencils; for we have none of our own." But the wise answered, saying, "Not so! Lest there be not enough for us and you: but go rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves." And while they went to buy, the exam commenced and the professor shut the door. Afterward came also the foolish students saying, "Professor, open the door to us." But he answered and said unto them, "I know you not."
This work describes an explosives detection technique utilizing differential reflectograms to identify the characteristic differential reflectivity spectra of TNT. It accomplishes this by measuring the characteristic differential reflectivity (essentially the absorption) of a specimen while being exposed to high intensity UV light.
Author: Michael A. Ruderman
Institution: Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, University of California, San Diego; Department of Psychology and Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Date: July 2009
Sensorimortor gating and locomotion are behaviors that reflect pre-attentive sensory filtering and higher order, top-down, sensory processing, respectively. These processes are thought to affect either the perception of novelty in an environment (filtering) or cognition (higher order processing), salient features of models of altered states of consciousness (ASC). Drugs with highly selective receptor affinities that produce ASC can help to establish neural correlates, pathways, and mechanisms underlying ASC. Furthermore, screening for substances that selectively reverse drug-induced sensory processing departures is valuable for development of experimental antipsychotics. This study investigated the anomalous opioid sub-type, the kappa opioid (KA) system, within the two ASC models. Significant interaction and reversal effects between KA and the serotonin/2A (5-HT2A) system – the serotonin sub-type associated with classical psychedelics – were observed in three BPM measures. These measures showed that KA activation-induced effects could be reversed by 5-HT2A deactivation. These results suggest that KA could function as an atypical antipsychotic medications and/or as a screening tool for new antipsychotic medicines. The experimental work for this study comprised dose-response and reversal experiments with drugs that activate and deactivate kappa opioid and serotonin systems in the two behavioral models for the first time in mice.