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With programmable pixels, novel sensor improves imaging of neural activity

With programmable pixels, novel sensor improves imaging of neural activity
2024-06-07
Neurons communicate electrically so to understand how they produce brain functions such as memory, neuroscientists must track how their voltage changes—sometimes subtly—on the timescale of milliseconds. In a new paper in Nature Communications, MIT researchers describe a novel image sensor with the capability to substantially increase that ability. The invention led by Jie Zhang, a postdoctoral scholar in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory lab of Sherman Fairchild Professor Matt ...

Frozen? Let it melt with efficient new deicer friendly to the environment

Frozen? Let it melt with efficient new deicer friendly to the environment
2024-06-07
The dangers of frozen roads, airplane engines, and runways are well known, but the use of commercial products often means short-term safety over long-term environmental degradation. Seeking a better product, Osaka Metropolitan University researchers have developed a deicing mixture offering higher performance than deicers on the market while also having less impact on the environment. The team, made up of graduate student Kai Ito, Assistant Professor Arisa Fukatsu, Associate Professor Kenji Okada, and Professor Masahide Takahashi of the Graduate School of Engineering, used machine learning to analyze ice melting mechanisms of aqueous solutions of 21 salts and 16 organic ...

Aging speeds up and lifetime becomes shorter in animals whose cells ‘believe’ to have too many nutrients, despite following a normal diet

Aging speeds up and lifetime becomes shorter in animals whose cells ‘believe’ to have too many nutrients, despite following a normal diet
2024-06-07
Cells are signalled to have nutrients in excess, and this leads to malfunction and inflammation in organs such as the pancreas, the liver and the kidneys.   The finding, by CNIO researchers, are published in Nature Aging. It suggests that an intervention on the inflammation alone can relieve symptoms and increase survival.   The research has been conducted on animal models, but comparing their molecular processes with blood samples from people in their seventies indicates that they can be extrapolated to human aging. The reality of a population who is ageing at an accelerated rate makes it a priority to understand what happens in the body over time, ...

Transfer RNAs at the heart of therapeutic resistance

Transfer RNAs at the heart of therapeutic resistance
2024-06-07
An international research team led by scientists from the University of Liège has discovered an interesting new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma resistant to targeted therapies. Inhibition of the VARS enzyme could prevent this therapeutic resistance by resensitising tumours resistant to these targeted therapies. Melanoma is one of the most serious and aggressive forms of skin cancer. When diagnosed early, melanoma is surgically removed. However, once metastases (i.e. secondary distant tumours) have developed, ...

Brain circuits underlying learning from negative experiences

Brain circuits underlying learning from negative experiences
2024-06-07
‘I’m not gonna do this again’, we often say when faced with negative feedback, adverse effects, or disappointing outcomes. Thus, we attempt to learn from such negative experiences. This principle is also a cornerstone of our education system: failing an exam ought to encourage students to do better next time. How does the brain achieve this type of learning? Positive and negative reinforcement appear as two sides of the same coin in parts of the brain’s valuation system. Notably, some neurons that release the neuromodulator ‘dopamine’ represent outcomes better vs. worse ...

What’s going on in our brains when we plan?

2024-06-07
In pausing to think before making an important decision, we may imagine the potential outcomes of different choices we could make. While this “mental simulation” is central to how we plan and make decisions in everyday life, how the brain works to accomplish this is not well understood.  An international team of scientists has now uncovered neural mechanisms used in planning. Its results, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, suggest that an interplay between the brain’s prefrontal cortex and hippocampus allows us to imagine future outcomes in order to guide our decisions.   “The prefrontal cortex acts as a ‘simulator,’ ...

Robotic device restores wavelike muscular function involved in processes like digestion, aiding patients with compromised organs

2024-06-07
A team of Vanderbilt researchers has developed a wirelessly activated device that mimics the wavelike muscular function in the esophagus and small intestine responsible for transporting food and viscous fluids for digestion. The soft-robotic prototype, which is driven by strong magnets controlled by a wearable external actuator, can aid patients suffering from blockages caused by tumors or those requiring stents. For example, traditional esophageal stents are metal tubes used in patients with esophageal cancer, mostly in an aging population. These patients risk food being blocked from entering the stomach, potentially ...

DOE announces new decadal fusion energy strategy

2024-06-07
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today marked the two-year anniversary of the Biden-Harris Administration's launch of the U.S. Bold Decadal Vision for Commercial Fusion Energy with the release of the DOE Fusion Energy Strategy 2024 and an event at the White House co-hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  At the inaugural event where the Bold Decadal Vision was unveiled, DOE launched a Department-wide initiative to develop a strategy for accelerating the viability of commercial fusion energy in partnership with the private sector. The newly released DOE Fusion Energy ...

Study identifies potential pathway to reducing breast cancer brain metastases

Study identifies potential pathway to reducing breast cancer brain metastases
2024-06-07
A study led by researchers from the University of Arizona Cancer Center at UArizona Health Sciences identified a biological mechanism that could lead to more effective treatments for breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain. By studying the metabolic differences between primary breast cancer cells and those that metastasize to the brain, they determined that autophagy was significantly upregulated in brain metastases. Autophagy is a cellular recycling process that cancer cells can use to stay alive when faced with stressful conditions such as those triggered by anticancer drugs. “The prognosis for individuals with ...

How does oxygen depletion disrupt memory formation in the brain?

How does oxygen depletion disrupt memory formation in the brain?
2024-06-07
When we learn something new, our brain cells (neurons) communicate with each other through electrical and chemical signals. If the same group of neurons communicate together often, the connections between them get stronger. This process helps our brains learn and remember things and is known as long-term potentiation or LTP.   Another type of LTP occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen temporarily – anoxia-induced long-term potentiationor aLTP. aLTP blocks the former process, thereby impairing learning and ...

Study investigates relationship between phthalate exposure and high blood pressure, related complications during pregnancy

Study investigates relationship between phthalate exposure and high blood pressure, related complications during pregnancy
2024-06-07
Higher exposure to certain chemicals called phthalates is linked to an increased risk of pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia and eclampsia (PE/E) and other hypertensive or high blood pressure disorders, according to a study funded by the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes program. Here are the key findings: Doubling the levels of a specific molecule linked to exposure to phthalates found in PVC plastics and insect repellents—mono (3-carboxypropyl) phthalate (MCPP)—increased ...

YALE NEWS: Study finds no association between COVID-19 vaccines and stillbirths

2024-06-07
New Haven, Conn. — In a new study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers from Yale and 11 other institutions found “no association between COVID-19 vaccination and stillbirth.” In a case-control study led by Yale School of Medicine’s Dr. Anna Denoble, researchers compared 276 stillbirths with 822 live births during a one-year period from February 2021 to February 2022. Their results, published June 6 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, found no linkage between pregnant individuals ...

University of South Florida using AI to help combat malaria in Africa

University of South Florida using AI to help combat malaria in Africa
2024-06-06
Media Contact: John Dudley (814) 490-3290 (cell) jjdudley@usf.edu TAMPA, Fla. (June 6, 2024) – University of South Florida researchers are using artificial intelligence to revolutionize mosquito surveillance to help combat malaria in Africa. Ryan Carney, professor of integrative biology, and Sriram Chellappan, professor in the department of computer science and engineering, will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to advance malaria research and explore innovative solutions ...

Webb finds plethora of carbon molecules around young star

Webb finds plethora of carbon molecules around young star
2024-06-06
An international team of astronomers has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to study the disk of gas and dust around a young, very low-mass star. The results reveal the largest number of carbon-containing molecules seen to date in such a disk. These findings have implications for the potential composition of any planets that might form around this star. Rocky planets are more likely than gas giants to form around low-mass stars, making them the most common planets around the most common stars in our galaxy. Little is known about the chemistry of such worlds, which may be similar to or very different from Earth. By studying the disks from which such planets form, astronomers hope ...

Study finds home health aides struggle with mental health

Study finds home health aides struggle with mental health
2024-06-06
Study Finds Home Health Aides Struggle with Mental Health Home health aides (HHAs) are vulnerable to stress, isolation and depressive symptoms, which impact their own health as well as their patients’ desire to age in place, according to Weill Cornell Medicine researchers. HHAs are a rapidly growing workforce trained and certified to provide personal and medical care, as well as emotional support, in the home. “As a doctor, I’ve learned that home health aides are a critical part of patients’ well-being,” said senior author Dr. Madeline Sterling, ...

Researchers develop microneedle patch to reverse hair loss caused by autoimmune disease

2024-06-06
Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by hair loss, which occurs when T cells of the immune system mistakenly attack hair follicles. To restore control over hyperactive immune cells, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, and MIT developed a cutting-edge approach to deliver T cell regulators directly to sites of hair loss and halt autoimmune activity. Findings, published in Advanced Materials, demonstrated marked and lasting increases in hair regrowth in models of the disease. Our immune system evolved to safeguard against the overactivation that occurs when it mistakenly attacks ...

Lakmini Kidder named Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Revenue Officer

Lakmini Kidder named Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Revenue Officer
2024-06-06
  Lakmini Kidder, MBA, has been appointed to the newly expanded role of Senior Vice President, Finance, and Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Kidder will begin her role on July 22. She joins VUMC from Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore, where she served as Vice President of Enterprise Revenue Cycle Management. In her new capacity, Kidder will assume responsibility for overseeing all aspects of VUMC’s integrated revenue cycle, encompassing hospitals, clinics, the Vanderbilt Medical Group and Vanderbilt Integrated Providers. Additionally, she will oversee revenue management and ...

Discovery highlights ‘critical oversight’ in perceived security of wireless networks

Discovery highlights ‘critical oversight’ in perceived security of wireless networks
2024-06-06
A research team led by Rice University’s Edward Knightly has uncovered an eavesdropping security vulnerability in high-frequency and high-speed wireless backhaul links, widely employed in critical applications such as 5G wireless cell phone signals and low-latency financial trading on Wall Street. Contrary to the common belief that these links are inherently secure due to their elevated positioning and highly directive millimeter-wave and sub-terahertz “pencil-beams,” the team exposed a novel method of interception using a ...

Diagnosing damaged infrastructure from space

Diagnosing damaged infrastructure from space
2024-06-06
As infrastructure ages, it becomes more susceptible to failure, which can cause safety and mobility concerns for drivers and pedestrians, and economic woes for taxpayers. A recent study published in “Transportation Research Record” shows that high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite data can detect infrastructure issues early on, which can help prevent further damage to roads in the same way that annual checkups can help prevent more complex health issues in humans. Led by Dr. Anand Puppala and Ph.D. candidate Amit Gajurel, researchers at Texas A&M University are working on a new method of infrastructure monitoring using Synthetic ...

Plenary speakers and key deadlines announced for ISSCR 2025 annual meeting in Hong Kong

Plenary speakers and key deadlines announced for ISSCR 2025 annual meeting in Hong Kong
2024-06-06
The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) convenes world-renown scientists dedicated to stem cell research and regenerative medicine each year at its annual meeting to share the year’s most compelling basic discoveries and clinical breakthroughs in the stem cell field. Abstract submission and registration for ISSCR 2025, taking place 11-14 June 2025, will open on 2 October 2024. Abstracts submitted by 21 January 2025 will be considered for oral presentations and merit and travels awards. The ISSCR is proud to announce the ...

UTEP pharmacy researchers develop potential treatment for fibrosis

UTEP pharmacy researchers develop potential treatment for fibrosis
2024-06-06
EL PASO, Texas (June 6, 2024) — Researchers at The University of Texas at El Paso are developing a new therapeutic approach that uses nanoparticles for the treatment of skin and lung fibrosis, conditions that can result in severe damage to the body’s tissues. Md Nurunnabi, Ph.D., is an associate professor in UTEP’s School of Pharmacy and the lead researcher on two studies published this June in the medical Journal of Controlled Release; one study focuses on skin fibrosis and the other on lung fibrosis. “We are closer than ever ...

Employers coast to coast join movement to turn bystanders into lifesavers

2024-06-06
DALLAS, June 5, 2024 — Nine out of 10 people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital die, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), especially if performed immediately, can double or triple survival rates.[1] That is why the American Heart Association, celebrating 100 years of lifesaving service, will broaden efforts to drive CPR education at the community level through the Heart Walk® campaign. Heart Walk is the Association’s largest community-based activation engaging more than 220 cities ...

Flavor restrictions affect tobacco buyers differently depending on socioeconomic status, researchers say

Flavor restrictions affect tobacco buyers differently depending on socioeconomic status, researchers say
2024-06-06
Restricting menthol flavor in cigarettes while making nicotine replacement therapy, such as a skin patch that can help ease withdrawal, more available and affordable has the potential to reduce socioeconomic disparities in tobacco use. That was one of the findings in a study published in May in Nicotine and Tobacco Research that marks a new use of existing data from the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC’s Addiction Recovery Research Center. Researchers analyzed data from their Experimental Tobacco ...

Botanists and archaeologists receive National Science Foundation grant to study Mediterranean history

Botanists and archaeologists receive National Science Foundation grant to study Mediterranean history
2024-06-06
It’s an unusual collaboration. Botanists and archaeologists don’t often work together, unless they’re studying the way people have used plants through time. But a new four-year grant from the National Science Foundation is shaking things up. It provides more than $1 million to study how Mediterranean plants that people have largely ignored evolved and diversified in one of the most formative periods of human history. “The Mediterranean is at the crossroads of Europe,” said Nicolas Gauthier, curator ...

Silkworms help grow better organ-like tissues in labs

Silkworms help grow better organ-like tissues in labs
2024-06-06
DURHAM, N.C. -- Biomedical engineers at Duke University have developed a silk-based, ultrathin membrane that can be used in organ-on-a-chip models to better mimic the natural environment of cells and tissues within the body. When used in a kidney organ-on-a-chip platform, the membrane helped tissues grow to recreate the functionality of both healthy and diseased kidneys. By allowing the cells to grow closer together, this new membrane helps researchers to better control the growth and function of the key cells and tissues of any organ, enabling them to more accurately model a wide range of diseases and test therapeutics. The research appears June 4 in the journal Science Advances. Often ...
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