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Your search has returned 84 articles:
  • News

    New ways to image and control nerve cells could unlock brain mysteries

    Using laser light, ballooning tissue and innovative genetic tricks, scientists are starting to force brains to give up their secrets.

    By mixing and matching powerful advances in microscopy and cell biology, researchers have imaged intricate details of individual nerve cells in fruit flies and mice, and even controlled small groups of nerve cells in living mice.

    The techniques,...

    01/17/2019 - 14:00 Neuroscience, Technology
  • News

    Brain waves may focus attention and keep information flowing

    We can’t see it, but brains hum with electrical activity. Brain waves created by the coordinated firing of huge collections of nerve cells pinball around the brain. The waves can ricochet from the front of the brain to the back, or from deep structures all the way to the scalp and then back again.

    Called neuronal oscillations, these signals are known to accompany certain mental states....

    03/13/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Animal goo inspires better glue

    Finding a great glue is a sticky task — especially if you want it to attach to something as slick as the inside of the human body. Even the strongest human-made adhesives don’t work well on wet surfaces like tissues and organs. For surgeons closing internal incisions, that’s more than an annoyance. The right glue could hold wounds together as effectively as stitches and staples with less...

    09/15/2017 - 12:00 Animals, Materials, Biomedicine
  • Feature

    Learning takes brain acrobatics

    Peer inside the brain of someone learning. You might be lucky enough to spy a synapse pop into existence. That physical bridge between two nerve cells seals new knowledge into the brain. As new information arrives, synapses form and strengthen, while others weaken, making way for new connections.

    You might see more subtle changes, too, like fluctuations in the levels of signaling...

    09/05/2017 - 11:00 Neuroscience
  • Editor's Note

    Problem-solving insights enable new technologies

    Fire was one of our ancient ancestors’ first forays into technology. Controlled burns enabled early hominids to ward off cold, cook and better preserve game. New evidence places fire-making in Europe as early as 800,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought and closer to scientists’ best estimate for hominids’ first use of fire, about 1 million years ago in Africa.

    ...

    06/29/2016 - 12:00 Science & Society
  • Feature

    Slow, cold reptiles may breathe like energetic birds

    Colleen Farmer was alone one night dissecting an alligator. Her focus was on blood flow in the heart, when suddenly, a hypothesis unfolded about animal lungs. In one sweep, she realized that what physiologists have assumed for decades about the evolution of airflow in alligators, other living reptiles, birds and maybe even dinosaurs might just be startlingly wrong.

    Lungs sound simple:...

    10/19/2015 - 13:11 Animals, Biophysics
  • Feature

    Entanglement: Gravity's long-distance connection

    View the video

    When Albert Einstein scoffed at a “spooky” long-distance connection between particles, he wasn’t thinking about his general theory of relativity.

    Einstein’s century-old theory describes how gravity emerges when massive objects warp the fabric of space and time. Quantum entanglement, the spooky source of Einstein’s dismay, typically concerns tiny particles that...

    10/07/2015 - 10:42 Quantum Physics, Physics
  • Feature

    Quantum chemistry may be a shortcut to life-changing compounds

    When Alán Aspuru-Guzik was in college, he really got into SETI@home, the project that uses home computers to speed the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. He was less interested in finding aliens in outer space, however, than in using fleets of computers to search molecular space. He wanted to find chemical compounds that could do intelligent things here on Earth.

    SETI@home is a...

    05/29/2015 - 12:00 Chemistry, Computing
  • Context

    Top 10 science anniversaries in 2014

    Scientists, and science writers, are always looking for an excuse to celebrate an anniversary. Bloggers in particular like anniversaries for those rare times when it’s hard to find something current to write about.

    For science anniversaries, 2014 was especially rich, providing opportunities for a diverse panoply of posts. And I have seized some of those opportunities, commenting on the...

    09/26/2014 - 11:35 Science & Society, Numbers
  • Feature

    The bright side of sadness

    Thomas Jefferson defended the right to pursue happiness in the Declaration of Independence. But that’s so 237 years ago. Many modern societies champion everyone’s right to be happy pretty much all the time.

    Good luck with that, says psychologist Joseph Forgas of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. A lack of close friends, unfulfilled financial dreams and other harsh realities...

    10/18/2013 - 13:45 Psychology, Anthropology