Transgenic Songbirds Provide New Tool To Understand The Brain

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Zebra Finch. The ability to manipulate songbird genes may yield the molecular secrets of vocal learning and neuronal replacement.

The ability to manipulate songbird genes may yield the molecular secrets of vocal learning and neuronal replacement.

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Skin Test Could Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

Skin Test Could Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

Cultured skin cells (green) from a healthy person (top) and a person with Alzheimer’s disease (bottom).

A novel test that detects enzymes that are dysfunctional in patients with Alzheimer’s disease–and that are found both in the brain and in skin cells–is about to undergo large clinical trials. Researchers at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI), in Morgantown, WV, who developed the diagnostic have also garnered approval from the Food and Drug Administration to test in humans an experimental drug that activates the enzymes–a mechanism that represents a new therapeutic approach to Alzheimer’s.
 

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Playing Nintendo Wii Can Help Relieve Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Playing Nintendo Wii Can Help Relieve Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s patient uses the Nintendo Wii with guidance from her occupational therapist 

The games console, which simulates sport and other physical activities like dancing and guitar hero, could potentially improve symptoms of the degenerative illness, experts say.

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Japanese Scientists Create World’s First Transgenic Primates

Japanese Scientists Create World’s First Trangenic Primates 

Japanese scientists announced  they had created the world’s first transgenic primates, breeding monkeys with a gene that made the animals’ skin glow a fluorescent green.

In a controversial achievement, Japanese scientists announced on Wednesday they had created the world’s first transgenic primates, breeding monkeys with a gene that made the animals’ skin glow a fluorescent green.

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Electrical Stimulation Through The Spinal Cord May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms

Electrical Stimulation Through The Spinal Cord May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms

Neural activity in the brain of a Parkinsonian rat before (top) and after (bottom) electrical stimulation is applied to its spinal cord.  

Delivering electrical stimulation to the spinal cord through tiny, platinum electrodes could ease the severe motor deficits of Parkinson’s disease as effectively as a much more intrusive procedure currently in clinical use, according to a new study in rodents. If the findings are confirmed in humans, scientists say, the procedure could dramatically improve treatment for the disease by making electrical therapies safer and more broadly available.

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Transplanted Stem Cells Undo Birth Defects

Transplanted Stem Cells Undo Birth Defects 

 Neural stem cells, tagged green with a fluorescent dye, have been transplanted among the brain cells (red) of a mouse born with brain damage after its mother was given heroin during pregnancy.

By injecting stem cells directly into the brain, scientists have successfully reversed neural birth defects in mice whose mothers were given heroin during pregnancy. Even though most of the transplanted cells did not survive, they induced the brain’s own cells to carry out extensive repairs.

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Vitamin D And Sun Exposure Play A Role In Disease Prevention

Vitamin D And Sun Exposure Play A Role In Disease Prevention

The sun is a natural and effective source of Vitamin D that we need to protect our bones, protect us from auto-immune diseases, help prevent Alzheimers disease, and protect us from certain kinds of cancers. Deficiencies in vitamin D are highly-linked to these diseases. Now, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have found that Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to Parkinson’s Disease.

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Stem Cell Therapy Lessens Damage Caused By Stroke

Stem Cell Therapy Lessens Damage Caused By Stroke 

Stem Cell 

Until recently, the promise of stem-cell therapy has centered on stem cells’ ability to morph into virtually any kind of cells. But researchers are finding that stem cells may have other healing effects. In recent studies, scientists have observed stem cells acting as anti-inflammatory agents, reducing swelling and even scarring when administered to injured tissue.

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