Mechanism Behind Organ Transplant Rejection Identified

Heart-transplant blood vessel in chronic rejection

UCLA researchers have pinpointed the culprit behind chronic rejection of heart, lung and kidney transplants. Published in the Nov. 23 edition of Science Signaling, their findings suggest new therapeutic approaches for preventing transplant rejection and sabotaging cancer growth.

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Stunning Details of Brain Connections Revealed

Visual reconstruction of synapses in the mouse somatosensory cortex

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, applying a state-of-the-art imaging system to brain-tissue samples from mice, have been able to quickly and accurately locate and count the myriad connections between nerve cells in unprecedented detail, as well as to capture and catalog those connections’ surprising variety.

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Our Brains Wiring For Attention!

Some demand a little more attention than others

University of Utah (U of U) medical researchers have uncovered a wiring diagram that shows how the brain pays attention to visual, cognitive, sensory, and motor cues. The research provides a critical foundation for the study of abnormalities in attention that can be seen in many brain disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder.

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Bright Stars of the Brain Regulate Breathing

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This image of brainstem astrocytes was taken using a confocal microscope.

Astrocytes — brain cells named after their characteristic star-shape and previously thought to act only as the ‘glue’ between neurons, have a central role in the regulation of breathing, according to scientists.

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Fly’s Brain — A High-Speed Computer: Neurobiologists Use State-of-the-Art Methods to Decode the Basics of Motion Detection

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Seeing into a fly’s brain: Neurobiologists use state-of-the-art methods to observe the activity of nerve cells while the fly sees moving stripe patterns on a LED screen (left). This technique enables the scientists to observe the response of single cells in the brain area which processes motion information

What would be the point of holding a soccer world championship if we couldn’t distinguish the ball from its background? Simply unthinkable! But then again, wouldn’t it be fantastic if your favourite team’s striker could see the movements of the ball in slow motion! Unfortunately, this advantage only belongs to flies.

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Baby Brain Growth Mirrors Changes from Apes to Humans

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Areas of expansion in the human cortex during infancy and childhood, top, closely match areas of change in the human brain when compared to the brains of apes and monkeys. Yellow areas expanded the most, followed by orange, red, blue and light blue areas.

A study undertaken to help scientists concerned with abnormal brain development in premature babies has serendipitously revealed evolution’s imprint on the human brain.

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Whisker Stimulation Prevents Strokes in Rats; Stimulating Fingers, Lips and Face May Also Work in Humans

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UCI researchers found that mechanically stroking a single whisker activated a rat’s cerebral cortex – seen lighting up in magenta and blue – and prompted obstructed blood to take other routes to the brain.

Talk about surviving by a whisker. The most common type of stroke can be completely prevented in rats by stimulating a single whisker, according to a new study by UC Irvine researchers.

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Brain Naturally Follows Scientific Method? Less Effort to Register ‘Predictable’ Images

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The brain does not predict the unpredictable: The sight of bars apparently moving from bottom left to top right (dotted line) evokes activity in the primary visual cortex (V1).

It turns out that there is a striking similarity between how the human brain determines what is going on in the outside world and the job of scientists. Good science involves formulating a hypothesis and testing whether this hypothesis is compatible with the scientist’s observations. Researchers in the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt together with the University of Glasgow have shown that this is what the brain does as well. A study shows that it takes less effort for the brain to register predictable as compared to unpredictable images.

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Soft Drink Consumption Increases Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

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Study: Consuming 2 or more soft drinks per week doubles your risk of pancreatic cancer

Consuming two or more soft drinks per week increased the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by nearly twofold compared to individuals who did not consume soft drinks, according to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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SIDS Linked to Low Levels of Serotonin

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Model of a human brain, with the cerebellum, medulla and brain stem visible at lower left.

The brains of infants who die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) produce low levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that conveys messages between cells and plays a vital role in regulating breathing, heart rate, and sleep, reported researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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Neurons Developed from Stem Cells Successfully Wired With Other Brain Regions in Animals

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This is a single stem cell-derived neuron that has migrated away from the transplantation site in the cortex and grown into a mature neuron.

Transplanted neurons grown from embryonic stem cells can fully integrate into the brains of young animals, according to new research in the Jan. 20 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Gene Linked to Schizophrenia May Reduce Cancer Risk

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Schizophrenia gene may be protected against some forms of cancer

People who inherit a specific form of a gene that puts them on a road to schizophrenia may be protected against some forms of cancer, according to a new study by scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

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