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.
It’s predictable that the U.S. government, not leaving anything to chance, used DNA to identify Osama Bin Laden’s body. What is more than a little creepy, is that they matched his DNA to that of his sister, who died several years ago of brain cancer, and whose brain the FBI has kept in its hall of brains since then.
Adding newborn brain cells to an aging brain can improve memory and decision-making, according to a new study. Adult mice with newborn neurons in the hippocampus, which governs memory and learning, were better able to distinguish between similar events and make better-informed choices. Combined with exercise over a period of time, adding new neurons even had anti-depressant effects, the study says.
The Six Million Dollar Man’s robotic arm worked as seamlessly as his natural one. But in the real world, robotic limbs have limited motions and the user can’t feel what he or she is “touching.” a new approach using optical fibers implanted around nerves could transmit more data and let prosthetics speak to the brain.
Embedding minuscule glass tubes inside a mouse brain allows neuroscientists to monitor brain activity over long periods of time, watching neurons and tissue change with illness or aging. The method, developed at Stanford University, opens a porthole into the brain's deepest recesses.
With just 15 minutes of a barely perceptible electric current passed through the brain, scientists at the University of Oxford have succeeded in improving a person’s math abilities with an effect lasting as long as six months. Using a non-invasive method known as transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS), the scientists passed a mild electric current through the skull into the brain’s parietal lobe, where numbers are processed.
Age-related memory loss—the kind where you remember friends from decades ago but can't remember your grandchildren—is largely a mystery, but a class of com-pounds used to treat cancer has given neuroscientists clues to its molecular underpinnings. Scientists also suspect that the compounds responsible for this insight, called histone deacetylase inhibitors, could significantly slow memory loss—perhaps for years.
Mind-reading can improve national security, a new study says. Brain-wave scanners could help authorities uncover secret details of a terrorist plot and help pinpoint people with guilty plans before they commit a crime, according to research conducted at Northwestern University.
If the test works in real life, authorities will be able to pluck information from terrorist "chatter" and study the brain waves of terror suspects to confirm information about an attack in advance, such as date, location and weapon.
With this head gear, you could make robots go grab you a beer simply by glancing at the refrigerator.
A team of researchers at Northeastern University in Boston is working on a brain-robot interface that lets you command a robot by looking at specific regions on a computer screen. The system detects brain signals from the user's visual cortex, and commands a robot to move left, right and forward, the Boston Globe reports.
MRI scans are already being used to explain current behavior by mapping blood flow to certain brain regions. Now researchers at UCLA think they can be used to predict your future behavior even better than you can.