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Brain

— Health and Wellbeing

Mollii outfit helps minimize brain damage-caused muscle spasms

By - October 15, 2013 2 Pictures
The painful and crippling muscle spasms caused by brain injuries or neurological disorders are typically controlled using medication or even surgery. Soon, however, it may be possible for sufferers to get their muscles under control just by wearing what looks like a high-tech union suit. Known as the Mollii garment, it reportedly produces no side effects, and doesn't have to be worn all the time. Read More
— Electronics

DOD pushes development of cheap, portable brain-reading device

By - October 10, 2013 2 Pictures
Innovation is all about putting on the proverbial thinking cap. Now engineers are vying to produce an actual thinking cap – at least one that can measure the most rudimentary signals of thought. The US Department of Defense is pushing for the development of cheap, wearable systems that can detect the brain waves of people and display the data on smartphones or tablets. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Steel bonding agent reduces impact forces of helmet-to-helmet hits

By - September 3, 2013 4 Pictures
One of the most feared football-related injuries is concussion. With the new NFL and NCAA college seasons just about to kick off, fans will be praying that none of their team suffers any serious impact collisions that could end their season or result in memory loss or depression later in life. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) biomechanical engineering professor, Vijay Gupta, is testing a special polymer material that when applied to the inside of helmets, can reduce G-force impact by 25 percent. Read More
— Science

Researchers grow human brains in a lab

By - August 29, 2013 3 Pictures
Within the past few years, scientists have successfully grown organs such as kidneys and livers in laboratories. It’s possible that some day, such lab-grown organs could be used as transplants, particularly when grown from the recipient’s own cells. Now, a team at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has succeeded in growing miniature human brains. While no one is suggesting that they could be swapped in for a patient’s existing brain, they could prove to be a boon to the field of medical research. Read More
— Science

Scientists read peoples' brains to identify letters

By - August 21, 2013 1 Picture
If someone were looking at a letter of the alphabet that was blocked from your view, would you be able to accurately guess what that letter was? Well, if you were at Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands, you might not have to guess or call in a psychic. Scientists there have used an MRI scanner and a mathematical model to read observed letters, right out of test subjects’ brains. Read More
— Medical

Blood clots could be sucked out of the brain by a robotic device

By - August 9, 2013 3 Pictures
Intracerebral hemorrhaging is what occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, and the blood which subsequently leaks out of that vessel forms a clot that places pressure on the surrounding brain tissue. It’s not that uncommon of an occurrence, it’s difficult to treat, and is fatal in about 40 percent of cases. Help may be on the way, however. A team from Nashville’s Vanderbilt University has created a robotic device that is designed to remove those clots, in a safe and minimally-invasive fashion. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

The two faces of the "love hormone"

By - August 6, 2013 2 Pictures
Often called the love hormone, oxytocin has shown the ability to enhance social bonding, decrease anxiety and encourage an overall feeling of satisfaction with life. A new study out of Northwestern University, however, finds that this ancient hormone has a dark side, and is capable of strengthening unpleasant memories, fear, and anxiety. This Jeckyll and Hyde behavior results from the fact that oxytocin has a general strengthening effect on social memories, without regard to their polarity. Read More
— Computers

Neuromorphic chips could help reverse-engineer the human brain

By - August 5, 2013 3 Pictures
Researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have designed a sophisticated computer system that is comparable in size, speed and energy consumption to the human brain. Based on the development of neuromorphic microchips that mimic the properties of biological neurons, the research is seen as an important step in understanding how the human brain processes information and opens the door to fast, extremely low-power electronic systems that can assimilate sensory input and perform user-defined tasks in real time. Read More
— Science

Inception: Artificial memories implanted in mice

By - August 1, 2013 2 Pictures
An ongoing collaboration between the Japanese Riken Brain Science Institute and MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has resulted in the discovery of how to plant specific false memories into the brains of mice. The breakthrough significantly extends our understanding of memory and expands the experimental reach of the new field of optogenetics. Read More
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