How exactly the hippocampus manages to string together events that are part of the same experience but are separated by "empty" periods of time has been a complete mystery to science. New research, however, has found the neurons that encode sequential moments in a discrete experience.
Researchers from Duke University and The Scripps Research Institute have identified a molecular pathway that plays a key role in stress-related damage to the genome. Until this new study, exactly how chronic stress wreaks havoc on DNA was basically unknown.
To successfully fight infection, the right treatment must be started quickly. But sometimes physicians have difficulty differentiating between a viral or a bacterial affliction. A simple blood test has been developed that should quickly answer this question.
In 2006, the Stardust probe returned a vial of dust from Wild 2, a comet. Analysis of that material shows that certain nucleobases, the building blocks of our genetic material, reach the Earth on meteorites in greater diversity and quantity than previously thought.
Despite the discovery in recent years that people have at least 1,000 different genes that each have a small effect on people’s IQ, scientists still haven’t found the specific ones that determine intelligence. But they have uncovered some interesting patterns.
Researchers in Poland have synthesized a new type of polymer that effectively captures nicotine molecules and their analogues in its molecular pincers. The design is now the core of a polymer nicotine trap which could also be used to deliver a slow, controlled release of nicotine in the body.
A single compound with dual function?the ability to deliver a diagnostic and therapeutic agent?may one day be used to enhance the diagnosis, imaging and treatment of brain tumors. A nanoparticle called a metallofullerine served as the basis for this research at Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech.
Akin to the litmus paper used in chemistry labs around the world to detect the pH of a liquid, a new device developed by Harvard University investigators changes color when it encounters a liquid with a particular surface tension. Capitalizing on the 3D capabilities of the porous material called inverse opal, the chip also has secretive double function.
A biomedical engineering professor at Columbia University has spent that last four years testing his mobile microfluidic chip, or mChip, on hundreds of patients. The inexpensive chip requires a tiny finger prick of blood, and in less than 15 minutes delivers quantitative assays.
It may take more than willpower to stick to a diet. A researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has discovered what happens to the brain when the body is hungry, and it involves a bizarre process of autophagy, or self-eating.
A new optical coherence tomography technology developed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology team has made it possible for users of endoscopy to see below the surface of the colon or esophagus to image microscopic pre-cancerous changes. Traditional screening methods were unable to offer this information.
Using a so-called Langendorff heart?an isolated rodent heart flushed with a nutrient solution in place of blood?scientists from Germany were for the first time able to show that nanoparticles have a clearly measurable effect on the heart.
Scientists have long debated the reason why modern people replaced Neanderthals across Europe about 40,000 years ago. Theories have included differences in thinking ability and the effects of climate. New work contends that numerical supremacy alone may have been the deciding factor, but not everyone agrees.
The invention of green fluorescent protein (GFP) revolutionized protein biology. Now, researchers Weill Cornell Medical College are hoping to do the same for RNA research with their development of a fluorescent tagging tool made from RNA that mimics the behavior of GFP. It’s been dubbed “Spinach” for its bright green color.
Yale University researchers examined for the first time age-related changes in the activity of neurons in the prefrontal cortex and found that as it ages the brain appears to accumulate excessive levels of a molecule that inhibits neuron firing. Interestingly, the research shows that such accumulation might be reversible.
About the size of a nine-volt battery, a silicone chip invented by researchers in Canada allows scientists to simultaneously analyze 300 cells individually by routing fluid carrying cells through microscopic tubes and valves. The cells fall in place like pinballs, facilitating faster analysis.
A glucose meter is one of the few widely available devices that can quantitatively detect target molecules in a solution. By adding functional molecular DNA sensors to the meter, University of Illinois researchers have allowed these meters to detect much more than glucose.
Quanterix Corporation and Sony DADC Austria AG announced that they have entered into a collaboration for the development and manufacture of "smart consumables" for use in the life science and in vitro diagnostic (IVD) markets.
Biochemists have hit mosquitoes where it hurts most: their blood meal. Inhibiting a molecular process the insect’s cells use to direct proteins to their proper destinations, they have found, causes more than 90% of affected mosquitoes to die within 48 hours of feeding.
Using nanotechnology to anchor sensors to the membranes of individual cells, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a platform technology for monitoring single-cell interactions as they happen. The breakthrough could be a key technology in personalized medicine.
Researchers at the University of Washington have determined the atomic architecture of a sodium channel. The achievement opens new possibilities for better drugs to address pain, epilepsy, and heart rhythm disturbances.
An Atlanta-based company, DigitalVision, is perfecting its next-generation optometry and opthamology instrument with the help of Georgia Tech. The VisionOptimizer, with its 24-inch telescope-grade mirror, is intended to provide more accurate vision measurements, along with a more patient-friendly and engaging vision test.
The factors controlling degeneration of the human brain are still mostly unknown. However, researchers in Germany have found a function for the previously mysterious cannabinoid-1 receptor. In experiments with mice, they switched off this receptor and the animals showed signs of degeneration, as seen in people with dementia, much faster than normal.
Sunburns can be painful, but until now scientists weren’t sure what exactly was behind the hurting. Recent findings on proteins known as chemokines has found that ultraviolet B irradiation of these molecules can trigger inflammatory symptoms in nerve fibers. The findings could lead to drugs that block the activity of this molecule.
Researchers at the Salk Insitute have for the first time been able to genetically incorporate “unnatural" amino acids, such as those emitting green fluorescence, into neural stem cells, which then differentiate into brain neurons with the incandescent "tag" intact. The new technique should allow real-time visual studies of human stem cells instead of previous biochemical approaches.