Brain

RICHLAND, Wash. -- A single fluorescent molecule flashing as it gains or loses its electron has made the microscopic spotlight. Watching a whole gaggle of these molecules, they appear to work synchronously; but a new close-up view reveals mavericks that shine when they seemingly shouldn't. The work sets the stage for a better understanding of the underlying principles of certain reactions common to biofuel production.

Research led by Dr. David Spence of Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario shows that with more intensive medical therapy, the risk of stroke has become so low that at least 95 per cent of patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS) would be better off with medical therapy than with surgery or stenting. ACS is a narrowing in the carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain, which has not yet resulted in a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

HILTON HEAD, SC–The coordination of two systems are key for any horse to walk, trot, gallop or win a race. The first are the lower limbs, which allow the animal to move along on a "spring-like" tendon. The second is a complicated respiratory system, which allows a horse to take in one breadth for every stride they make while racing. For more than a decade a team of researchers has been working to unlock the secrets of equines. Their findings may provide a springboard for better muscular horse health, and a different approach to breathing devices for humans.

American children are approximately three times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication than children in Europe. A new study published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health claims that the differences may be accounted for by regulatory practices and cultural beliefs about the role of medication in emotional and behavioural problems.

Researchers have long known that children who grow up in an aggressive or violent household are more likely to become violent or aggressive in future relationships. What has not been so clear is the developmental link between witnessing aggressive behavior as a child and carrying it out as an adult. What changes occur in a child that affect whether he or she will choose to deal with conflict in aggressive or violent ways?

Although school has been back for less than a month, it is likely that many children are already experiencing frustration and confusion in math class. Research at The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada could change the way we view math difficulties and how we assist children who face those problems.

Neuroscientists at Children's Hospital Boston have identified the first known "master switch" in brain cells to orchestrate the formation and maintenance of inhibitory synapses, essential for proper brain function. The factor, called Npas4, regulates more than 200 genes that act in various ways to calm down over-excited cells, restoring a balance that is thought to go askew in some neurologic disorders. The findings appear in the September 24 advance online edition of the journal Nature.

A physician's personality can affect practice behavior in inquiries about patient mood symptoms and the diagnosis of depression, according to a study led by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers.

HOUSTON – (Sept. 24, 2008) – Self-guided treatment for depression could soon be only a mouse click away.

Scientists with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are developing an interactive, multi-media program that will assist astronauts in recognizing and effectively managing depression and other psychosocial problems, which can pose a substantial threat to crew safety and mission operations during long-duration spaceflights.

Scientists now have a better understanding of how the human brain orchestrates the sophisticated pathways involved in the regulation of emotions. The research, published by Cell Press in the September 25th issue of the journal Neuron, identifies brain pathways that underlie reinterpretation of aversive images in ways that reduce or enhance their negative emotional intensity.

A new study describes an exciting approach for mapping the specific neuronal origins of complex and varied behaviors characteristic of Rett syndrome (RTT), an autism spectrum disorder. The research, published by Cell Press in the September 25th issue of the journal Neuron, also uncovers a novel and unexpected role for the gene that causes RTT.

A link between certain behaviors and the lack of the protein associated with Rett Syndrome – a devastating autism spectrum disorder – demonstrates the importance of MeCP2 (the protein) and reveals never-before recognized functions associated with aggression and obesity, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.

Washington, D.C. – Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have discovered a new way to limit inflammation caused by the activation of microglia - key immune cells in the brain. Although the role of such cells is to "clean up damage" after injury, they often worsen the damage by releasing toxic inflammatory factors.

Political conservatives operate out of a fear of chaos and absence of order while political liberals operate out of a fear of emptiness, a new Northwestern University study soon to be published in the Journal of Research in Personality finds.

"Social scientists long have assumed that liberals are more rational and less fearful than conservatives, but we find that both groups view the world as a dangerous place," says Dan McAdams, study co-author and professor of human development and psychology at Northwestern University. "It's just that their fears emerge differently."

Pancreatic carcinoma is an obstinate disease that is difficult to deal with, the five-year survival rate is 4%. Conventional, the main treatments for pancreatic cancer are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Despite advances in surgical and medical therapy, little effect has been made on the mortality rate of this disease.