Medicine articlesAdult brain can change within seconds
The human brain can adapt to changing demands even in adulthood, but MIT neuroscientists have now found evidence of it changing with unsuspected speed. Their findings suggest that the brain has a network of silent connections that underlie its plasticity.
Genetic discovery may determine Alzheimer's disease risk and age of disease onset
A newly identified gene appears to be highly predictive of not only the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, but also the approximate age at which the disease will begin to manifest itself, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.
Hush little baby... Linking genes, brain, and behavior in children
It comes as no surprise that some babies are more difficult to soothe than others but frustrated parents may be relieved to know that this is not necessarily an indication of their parenting skills. According to a new report in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, children's temperament may be due in part to a combination of a certain gene and a specific pattern of brain activity.
UCLA scientists present first genetic evidence for why placebos work
Placebos are a sham - usually mere sugar pills designed to represent "no treatment" in a clinical treatment study. The effectiveness of the actual medication is compared with the placebo to determine if the medication works.
Experiments show 'artificial gravity' can prevent muscle loss in space
When the Apollo 11 crew got back from the moon, 40 years ago, they showed no ill effects from seven days spent in weightlessness. But as American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts began conducting longer-duration space flights, scientists noticed a disturbing trend: the longer humans stay in zero gravity, the more muscle they lose. Space travelers exposed to weightlessness for a year or more - such as those on a mission to Mars, for example - could wind up crippled on their return to Earth, unable to walk or even sit up.
Can brain scans read your mind?
Can neuroscience read people's minds? Some researchers, and some new businesses, are banking on a brain imaging technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to reveal hidden thoughts, such as lies, truths or deep desires.
What makes a hero?
New research at Newcastle University shows that it's not enough to be noble and do a courageous act to be considered a hero.
A urine test for appendicitis
Harvard researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have identified a protein in the urine of appendicitis patients that they believe may provide the basis of a quick, noninvasive, accurate, and inexpensive test for the common condition.
Nanodiamonds deliver insulin for wound healing
Bacterial infection is a major health threat to patients with severe burns and other kinds of serious wounds such as traumatic bone fractures. Recent studies have identified an important new weapon for fighting infection and healing wounds: insulin.
Some evidence that diets high in calcium and dairy products in childhood may lower mortality
Suggestive evidence points to the possibility that children who have a diet high in calcium and who consume dairy products may have a lower mortality rate than those who don't, according to a study by researchers in Bristol and Brisbane, published in the journal Heart.
Beep, beep, oops, what was I doing?
"That blasted siren. I can't focus." That reaction to undesired distraction may signal a person's low working-memory capacity, according to a new study.
Perceiving touch and your self outside of your body
When you feel you are being touched, usually someone or something is physically touching you and you perceive that your "self" is located in the same place as your body. In new research published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, neuroscientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, investigated the relationship between bodily self-consciousness and the way touch stimuli are spatially represented in humans. They found that sensations of touch can be felt and mislocalised towards where a "virtual" body is seen. These findings will provide new avenues for the animation of virtual worlds and machines.
Nanoparticles cross blood-brain barrier to enable 'brain tumor painting'
Brain cancer is among the deadliest of cancers. It's also one of the hardest to treat. Imaging results are often imprecise because brain cancers are extremely invasive. Surgeons must saw through the skull and safely remove as much of the tumor as they can. Then doctors use radiation or chemotherapy to destroy cancerous cells in the surrounding tissue.
Too many ways to say 'it hurts'
There are at least 100 ways to say, "It hurts!" And that is the problem.
Friendship influences eating behavior, particularly when friends are overweight
A new study of childhood obesity in the United States has found that some social factors, such as the presence of friends, may put overweight youths at greater risk of overeating.
Tiny rifts create fragility of brittle bone disease
The weak tendons and fragile bones characteristic of osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, stem from a genetic mutation that causes the incorrect substitution of a single amino acid in the chain of thousands of amino acids making up a collagen molecule, the basic building block of bone and tendon.
Holding breath for several minutes elevates marker for brain damage
Divers who held their breath for several minutes had elevated levels of a protein that can signal brain damage, according to a new study from the Journal of Applied Physiology. However, the appearance of the protein, S100B, was transient and leaves open the question of whether lengthy apnea (breath-holding) can damage the brain over the long term.
Pilot study: workplace yoga and meditation can lower feelings of stress
Twenty minutes per day of guided workplace meditation and yoga combined with six weekly group sessions can lower feelings of stress by more than 10 percent and improve sleep quality in sedentary office employees, a pilot study suggests.
Brain's center for perceiving 3-D motion is identified
Ducking a punch or a thrown spear calls for the power of the human brain to process 3-D motion, and to perceive an object (whether it's offensive or not) moving in three dimensions is critical to survival. It also leads to a lot of fun at 3-D movies.
'Brain exercises' may delay memory decline in dementia
People who engage in activities that exercise the brain, such as reading, writing, and playing card games, may delay the rapid memory decline that occurs if they later develop dementia, according to a study published in the August 4, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.