Tag Archives: signals

Bats bolster brain hypothesis, maybe technology, too

Decades of research on how bats use echolocation to keep a focus on their targets not only lends support to a long debated neuroscience hypothesis about vision but also could lead to smarter sonar and radar technologies.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Amid a neuroscience debate about how people and animals focus on distinct objects within cluttered scenes, some of the newest and best evidence comes from the way bats “see” with their ears, according to a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology. In fact, the perception process in question could improve sonar and radar technology. (more…)

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Leptin also influences brain cells that control appetite, Yale researchers find

Twenty years after the hormone leptin was found to regulate metabolism, appetite, and weight through brain cells called neurons, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that the hormone also acts on other types of cells to control appetite.

Published in the June 1 issue of Nature Neuroscience, the findings could lead to development of treatments for metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. (more…)

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Plants Send Out Signals Attracting Harmful Bacteria, MU Study Finds

Findings could lead to natural bacterial anti-infectives in food-producing plants

COLUMBIA, Mo. – When bacteria attack plants, they often inject harmful proteins into the host plants’ cells to weaken and suppress natural defenses. However, in some plants, bacteria attack once they’ve recognized the plant cells as a potential host. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have identified and replicated the process that allows the bacteria—known mostly for attacking tomatoes—to invade its host. This discovery could lead to natural anti-infective treatments that work with food-producing plants to enhance resistance to harmful bacteria in the field. (more…)

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Schmetterlinge reagieren stark auf Klimaerwärmung

Viele Tier- und Pflanzenarten verlassen in Folge der Klimaerwärmung ihre bisherigen Verbreitungsgebiete und wandern langsam nach Norden oder in höhere Gebirgslagen. Bestehende Schutzgebiete werden möglicherweise auf lange Sicht nicht mehr jene Arten beherbergen, für deren Schutz sie einst bestimmt waren. Zu diesem Befund, der aktuell im Fachmagazin PLOS ONE erscheint, kommt ein internationales Team, an dem auch Biodiversitätsforscherin Andrea Grill von der Universität Wien beteiligt war. Die WissenschafterInnen untersuchten die Diversität der Schmetterlinge im griechischen Dadia National Park.

Ausgangspunkt für die Untersuchung waren die 1998 von Andrea Grill im Rahmen ihrer Diplomarbeit erhobenen Daten von Schmetterlingen im griechischen Dadia National Park, der in den Rhodopen im Nordosten des Landes liegt. Heute forscht die Elise-Richter-Stipendiatin am Department für Tropenökologie und Biodiversität der Tiere der Universität Wien und freut sich darüber, mit ihrer Diplomarbeit die Basis für eine internationale Studie vorbereitet zu haben. “Wir konnten, indem wir die damaligen Ergebnisse mit aktuellen verglichen, beweisen, dass Schmetterlinge relativ rasch auf Klimaveränderungen reagieren”, so Andrea Grill. (more…)

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Mind over mechanics

How thoughts can control a flying robot

It’s a staple of science fiction: people who can control objects with their minds.

At the University of Minnesota, a new technology is turning that fiction into reality.

In the lab of biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several young people have learned to use their thoughts to steer a flying robot around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring. (more…)

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Tiny Capsule Effectively Kills Cancer Cells

Scientists create nanoscale vehicle to battle cancer without harming healthy cells

A tiny capsule invented at a UCLA lab could go a long way toward improving cancer treatment.
Devising a method for more precise and less invasive treatment of cancer tumors, a team led by researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has developed a degradable nanoscale shell to carry proteins to cancer cells and stunt the growth of tumors without damaging healthy cells.

In a new study, published online Feb. 1 in the peer-reviewed journal Nano Today, a group led by Yi Tang, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, reports developing tiny shells composed of a water-soluble polymer that safely deliver a protein complex to the nucleus of cancer cells to induce their death. The shells, which at about 100 nanometers are roughly half the size of the smallest bacterium, degrade harmlessly in non-cancerous cells. (more…)

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Countering Brain Chemical Could Prevent Suicides

Researchers have found the first proof that a chemical in the brain called glutamate is linked to suicidal behavior, offering new hope for efforts to prevent people from taking their own lives.

Writing in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, Michigan State University’s Lena Brundin and an international team of co-investigators present the first evidence that glutamate is more active in the brains of people who attempt suicide. Glutamate is an amino acid that sends signals between nerve cells and has long been a suspect in the search for chemical causes of depression. (more…)

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