Brain

Researchers have shown that they can create entirely new strains of infectious proteins known as prions in the laboratory by simply mixing infectious prions from one species with the normal prion proteins of another species. The findings are reported in the September 5th issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication.

Scientists investigating the mechanisms of Down Syndrome (DS) have revealed the earliest developmental changes in embryonic stem cells caused by an extra copy of human chromosome 21 – the aberrant inheritance of which results in the condition. Their study is published online today (Thursday 4 September) in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

A recent study by University of Illinois professor of psychology Dolores Albarracín and her colleagues at the University of Florida and the Alachua County Health Department in Florida found a method to increase enrollment among high-risk individuals in HIV prevention programs.

The study, which appeared this month in the journal Health Psychology, found that by offering an experimental introduction to a counseling session, public health institutions could increase enrollment by a significant amount.

Just as test pilots push planes to explore their limits, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are probing the newest microscope technology to further improve measurement accuracy at the nanoscale. Better nanoscale measurements are critical for setting standards and improving production in the semiconductor and nanomanufacturing industries.

Tampa, FL – September 4, 2008 – Social psychology is the study of how people and groups interact. A new study in the journal International Studies Review shows how social psychology can help us better understand the puzzle of nuclear restraint and uses the case of Japan to illustrate social psychology on nuclear decision-making.

PROVIDENCE – New research from Rhode Island Hospital found that obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) can contribute to mild neurodegeneration with features common with Alzheimer's disease (AD) – the first study to show that obesity can cause neurodegeneration. The study appeared in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease Volume 15:1 (September 2008) .

A series of experiments conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois suggest that society's emphasis on action over inaction may lead to unforeseen consequences.

"Our research highlights how the pressures of society to be active may produce fairly unregulated behavior," said Dolores Albarracín, a professor of psychology who led the work.

The new analysis appears this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Cancer patients have complained for years about the mental fog known as chemobrain. Now in animal studies at West Virginia University (WVU), researchers have discovered that injections of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an antioxidant, can prevent the memory loss that breast cancer chemotherapy drugs sometimes induce. The WVU researchers' study has just been published in the September issue of the Springer journal Metabolic Brain Disease.

Stem cell research is the next great leap in medicine. In the future, new tissue grown in a laboratory could replace a failing heart, or new cells take the place of damaged cells in the brain. Rather than using stem cells from embryonic sources, which opens difficult ethical and complicated scientific issues, scientists have been looking to adult human stem cells, culled from a person's own body. Adult stem cells are now being cultivated from various tissues in the body ― from skin, bones and even wisdom teeth.

As preparations for the launch of GOCE on 10 September continue on schedule, an important milestone has just been achieved as engineers at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia say farewell to the satellite as it is encapsulated in the two half-shells of the launcher's fairing.

Milan, Italy, 4 September 2008 – Ever seen or heard something that wasn't there? For most of us such experiences - termed hallucinations - are a normal, fleeting, brain glitch; yet for a few they are persistent, distressing and associated with a range of psychiatric, neurological and eye conditions.

Electronic fingerprinting, iris scans, and signature recognition software are all becoming commonplace biometrics for user authentication and security. However, they all suffer from one major drawback - they can be spoofed by a sufficiently sophisticated intruder. Writing in the International Journal of Biometrics, Japanese researchers describe a new approach based on a person's reflexes that could never be copied, forged, or spoofed.

Quebec City, September 4, 2008—A Université Laval research team has demonstrated that intellectual work induces a substantial increase in calorie intake. The details of this discovery, which could go some way to explaining the current obesity epidemic, are published in the most recent issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

The British government has invested more money in Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) in its schools than any other government in the world. But is this huge investment worth it? Have the new data projection technologies allowed students to learn more effectively? This is the subject of recent research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

In a collaborative study at the University of California, San Diego, investigators from neurosciences, chemistry and medicine, as well as the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) have investigated how proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease interact to form unique complexes. Their findings explain why Alzheimer's patients might develop Parkinson's, and vice versa. The new and unique molecular structures they discovered can now be used to model and develop new drugs for these devastating neurological diseases.