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  • News

    Stimulating nerve cells stretches time between thinking, doing

    A zap to the head can stretch the time between intention and action, a new study finds. The results help illuminate how intentions arise in the brain.

    The study, published in the May 6 Journal of Neuroscience, “provides fascinating new clues” about the process of internal decision making, says neuroscientist Gabriel...

    05/05/2015 - 17:00 Neuroscience
  • Science Ticker

    Children with autism excel at motion detection test

    On a test of visual perception, children with autism perceive moving dots with more clarity than children without the disorder. The results, published in the May 6 Journal of Neuroscience, reveal a way in which children with autism see the world differently.

    When asked to determine the overall direction of a mess of...

    05/05/2015 - 17:00 Neuroscience, Mental Health
  • News

    Sugar-cleaving molecule raises hope for universal blood

    By tweaking an enzyme borrowed from a bacterium, researchers have taken a step closer to creating blood that is safe for transfusing to all people, regardless of their blood type — A, B, AB or O.

    Compared with the unaltered enzyme, designated Sp3GH98, the engineered version is 170 times faster at chopping apart certain sugar-based markers found on blood cells,...

    05/04/2015 - 07:00 Chemistry, Biomedicine
  • News

    Gene therapy for blindness dims a bit

    Gene therapy for a rare form of inherited blindness improves sight temporarily but can’t yet save vision cells from dying.

    Light-gathering rod and cone cells continued to die in the retinas of three people despite gene therapy to correct Leber congenital amaurosis, researchers report online May 3 in the New England Journal of...

    05/03/2015 - 17:15 Genetics, Biomedicine
  • News

    Zipping to Mars could badly zap brain nerve cells

    Like cannonballs slamming into stained glass, high-energy particles can shatter the delicate tendrils that connect nerve cells, a study on mice finds. This neural destruction left mice with memory and learning problems, a finding that has implications for intrepid space explorers.

    The result is “worrisome, very worrisome,” says neuroscientist M. Kerry O’Banion of the University of...

    05/01/2015 - 14:00 Neuroscience, Particle Physics
  • News

    DNA disorganization linked to aging

    Old cells do not go gently into that good night. In people who age prematurely, changes in the way that DNA is tightly packed in cells leads to mayhem that promotes the aging process, researchers have discovered.

    Werner syndrome, a genetic disorder also known as adult progeria, leads to graying hair, cataracts, osteoporosis and other signs of aging in people in their 20s. Researchers...

    04/30/2015 - 14:00 Genetics, Epigenetics, Health
  • Growth Curve

    How baby cries bore into mom’s brain

    Here I am, fresh off of my second maternity leave ready to serve up lots of juicy fresh science about babies. And I would love to do that, if only I were sleeping more at night. With her intoxicating baby aroma, squishy face and sweet little coos, our newest little daughter is irresistible by day. Night is...

    04/29/2015 - 16:43 Neuroscience, Health
  • Scicurious

    For the blind, hearing the way forward can be a tradeoff

    There’s a common notion that people who have deficiencies in one sensory area must have enhancements in others: People with hearing loss have better sight, and people who are blind certainly must have better hearing. That idea even shows up in our superhero stories. Mild-mannered lawyer by day, vigilante by night, Marvel’s Daredevil cannot see...

    04/28/2015 - 07:41 Neuroscience
  • The Science Life

    Brain on display

    Studying the human brain requires grandiose thinking, but rarely do actual theatrical skills come into play. In her latest stint as a video star, MIT neuroscientist Nancy Kanwisher does not buzz saw her skull open to give viewers a glimpse of her brain. But she does perhaps the next best thing: She clips off her shoulder-length gray hair and shaves her head on camera.

    Kanwisher’s smooth...

    04/27/2015 - 16:06 Neuroscience, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Depression leaves lasting mark on DNA

    Depression changes people down to their DNA, a new study suggests.

    People with depression have more mitochondrial DNA and shorter telomeres than nondepressed people do, an international team of researchers reports online April 23 in Current Biology.

    Mitochondria are organelles that produce...

    04/23/2015 - 12:00 Genetics, Mental Health