For the first time, Parkinson’s researchers have made human brain cells derived from the skin cells of patients who carry a mutated gene related to Parkinson’s disease. This means researchers can now track exactly how this mutation, in a gene called parkin, causes the disease in about 10 percent of Parkinson’s patients.
Scientists use mice for all kinds of fun things, from injecting old mice with young mouse blood to training them to sniff for bombs, but when doing research, it's often very difficult to see what's actually going on in a mouse's brain.
In a major breakthrough for Alzheimer’s research, scientists have turned human embryonic stem cells and skin cells into brain cells associated with memory and learning, whose death is key to the progression of the disease. The finding could help scientists test new ways to keep the cells from dying, and could someday lead to lab-grown stockpiles that could be implanted into the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Electrode implants which zap areas of the brain have mysteriously helped ease the symptoms of crippling diseases such as depression and Parkinson's. Now brain scans could help predict who exactly might benefit from deep brain stimulation (DBS), based on seeing which interconnected regions of the brain "light up" at the same time, New Scientist reports.
Even a stutter-gait zombie might turn up its nose at a 13th-century fossilized brain, but neuroscientists probably have good cause for excitement. An amazingly well-preserved 800-year-old infant brain found in northwestern France contains recognizable remnants of brain cells, according to a new study covered by Neurophilosophy.
Many next-gen supercomputers try to imitate how brain cells communicate and build digital versions of neural networks. Now the BBC brings word of the most ambitious project yet -- a "wet computer" that will literally simulate neurons and signal processing on the chemical level.
Cats may retain an aura of mystery about their smug selves, but that could change with scientists using a supercomputer to simulate the the feline brain. That translates into 144 terabytes of working memory for the digital kitty mind.