Go ahead, laugh. In fact, look forward to the upcoming positive event. It does the body good. Even looking forward to a happy, funny event increases endorphins and other relaxation-inducing hormones as well as decreases other detrimental stress hormones, a new study has found.
Researchers say the biological motors that nature uses for intracellular transport and other biological functions inspired them to create a whole new class of micro-devices for controlling magnetic flux quanta in superconductors that could lead to the development of a new generation of medical diagnostic tools. As integrated circuits become smaller and smaller, it becomes increasingly difficult to create the many “guiding channels” that act like wires to move electrons around the circuit components.
Researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered a high tech way to quell panic in rats. They have detected the brain’s equivalent of an “all clear” signal, that, when simulated, turns off fear. The discovery could lead to non-drug, physiological treatments for runaway fear responses seen in anxiety disorders. Rats normally freeze with fear when they hear a tone they have been conditioned to associate with an electric shock. Dr. Gregory Quirk and Mohammed Milad, Ponce School of Medicine, Puerto Rico, have now demonstrated that stimulating a site in the front part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, extinguishes this fear response by mimicking the brain’s own “safety signal.”
Buildings built according to federal design criteria to be able to withstand earthquakes may not be able to survive the effects of explosions from bombs small enough to be carried by a terrorist, Penn State researchers have found.
How do 30,000 genes in our DNA work together to form a large part of who we are? How do one hundred billion neurons operate in our brain? The huge number of factors involved makes such complex networks hard to crack. Now, a study published in the October 25 issue of Science uncovers a strategy for finding the organizing principles of virtually any network ? from neural networks to ecological food webs or the Internet.
A major, magnitude-7.9 earthquake that rocked Alaska on Sunday apparently triggered scores of earthquakes some 2,000 miles away at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. By 8:30 a.m. MST Monday Nov. 4 – about 17 hours after the Alaskan quake – more than 200 small earthquakes had been detected occurring in clusters throughout the Yellowstone area. The quakes were recorded by the Yellowstone seismic network operated by the University of Utah Seismograph Stations.
Researchers are using a herpes virus that produces a firefly enzyme to illuminate the virus’s course of infection in mice and to help monitor the infection’s response to therapy. “This study demonstrates the feasibility of monitoring microbial infections in living animals in real time,” says study leader David A. Leib. “The technique enables us to follow an infection over time as it progresses and resolves, and we can do this repeatedly using the same animal.”
A new technique enables doctors to directly examine the lining of milk ducts in the breast for early signs of cancer and other abnormalities, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers used the technique, known as ductoscopy, to detect breast abnormalities in women with a condition called pathologic nipple discharge (PND).
When you look at a picture, your brain has to put together lines, patterns and shapes to make a meaningful scene. New research by neuroscientists at the University of California, Davis and the University of Minnesota shows that higher regions of the brain can quickly recognize patterns and shapes and tell lower areas of the brain to stop processing the information. The finding confirms predictions from computer models and helps explain how the human brain makes sense of what the eyes see.
Imagine having all of the information recorded on a stack of 1,540 CDs on a disk the size of a single CD. Or visualize having all of the information recorded on a stack of 154 CDs written on a one-inch square chip. New probe microscopy techniques and new organic materials could be combined in next generation data storage technology for unprecedented data density.
Brain images from hundreds of people with schizophrenia at 10 research sites nationwide will be shared in a first-of-its-kind research project funded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a branch of the National Institutes of Health. The project will create an extensive database of brain information that it is hoped will expand understanding of disabling brain illnesses such as schizophrenia and speed the development of new treatments.
Software developed at the federal Sandia National Laboratories could help farmers keep the nation’s dairy supply safer from bioterrorism. The system asses factors such as dairy location, numbers of buildings, how many cows there are and the types of shelters present. It then provides a risk assessment. Dull, you say? Maybe. But dairy is a multibillion dollar industry in the U.S. and no one wants to eat anthrax-tainted ice cream.