Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a device which records the brain activity of worms to help test the effects of drugs.
NeuroChip is a microfluidic electrophysiological device, which can trap the microscopic worm Caenorhadbitis elegans and record the activity of discrete neural circuits in its ‘brain’ - a worm equivalent of the EEG.
C. elegans have been enormously important in providing insight into fundamental signalling processes in the nervous system and this device opens the way for a new analysis. Prior to this development, electrophysiological recordings that resolve the activity of excitatory and inhibitory nerve cells in the nervous system of the worm required a high level of technical expertise - single microscopic (1mm long) worms have to be trapped on the end of a glass tube, a microelectrode, in order to make the recording. The worms are very mobile as well as being small and this can be a challenging procedure.
The microfluidic invention consists of a reservoir through which worms can be fed, one after the other, into a narrow fluid-filled channel. The channel tapers at one end and this captures the worm by the front end. The worm is then in the correct orientation for recording the activity of the nervous system in the anterior of its body. The device incorporates metal electrodes, which are connected to an amplifier to make the recording. The design of the trapping channel has been optimised by PhD student Chunxiao Hu, so that the quality of the worm ‘EEG’ recording is sufficient to resolve the activity of components of the neural circuit in the worm’s nervous system.
This device has been used to detect the effects of drugs and is highly suitable for high throughput screens (which allow researchers to quickly conduct millions of chemical, genetic or pharmacological tests) in neurotoxicology and for generic screening for neuroactive drugs. It has more power to resolve discrete effects on excitatory, inhibitory or modulatory transmission than previously possible with behavioural screens.
Lindy Holden-Dye, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Southampton and lead author of the paper, says: “We are particularly interested in using this as a sensitive new tool for screening compounds for neurotoxicity. It will allow us to precisely quantify sub-lethal effects on neural network activity. It can also provide an information rich platform by reporting the effects of compounds on a diverse array of neurotransmitter pathways, which are implicated in mammalian toxicology. “
The research, which is published in the latest issue of the journal PLOS One, is a joint project between the University’s Centre for Biological Sciences and the Hybrid Biodevices Group.
— June 23, 2013
Be sure to look out for the Moon these next few months as it approaches Perigee, because the full moons during these times will appear exceptionally large. The Moon will be at its Perigee, or closest approach, in July 23 and it will reach full moon only a few minutes after it passes this point in its orbit.
These ‘super moons’ not only appear larger because they are physically closer but, combined with a full moon, the mind can play tricks on you to think they are much larger. This phenomena is called the Moon Illusion. Try to catch these full moons as they rise/set because the illusion works when there is an object in the foreground, like a tree, building or mountains.
Three Possible Futures for the Universe via Chandra X-ray Observatory (Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)
“This illustration shows three possible futures for the Universe, depending on the behavior of dark energy, by showing how the scale of the Universe may change with time. If dark energy is constant, as the new Chandra results suggest, the expansion should continue accelerating forever. If dark energy increases, the acceleration may happen so quickly that galaxies, stars, and eventually atoms will be torn apart, in the so-called Big Rip. Dark energy may also lead to a recollapse of the Universe, in the Big Crunch. The illustration also shows the early decelerating expansion of the Universe, followed by the accelerating phase that started about 6 billion years ago.”
Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Now, A. David Smith at the University of Oxford and his colleagues have discovered that, in some patients experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a cocktail of high-dose B vitamins could prevent gray matter loss associated with progression to AD. The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The World Health Organization predicts that between 2010 and 2050 the number of dementia cases will increase from 26 million to 115 million worldwide. Although there is an urgent demand for treatment, pharmaceutical companies have been unable to develop drugs that will delay or cure dementia. So far, approved drugs merely ease symptoms.
Smith and his team wanted to see if B vitamins reduced the risk of AD by lowering total homocysteine (tHcy) levels. There is a positive correlation between high tHcy levels and risk of cognitive impairment and AD.
The researchers studied 156 subjects over 70 in Oxford, England who suffered from MCI. The subjects received either a placebo or a high-dose B vitamin cocktail consisting of 20 milligrams of vitamin B6, 0.5 milligrams of vitamin B12 and 0.8 milligrams of folic acid.
Over a two-year period, subjects in both the experimental and control groups lost gray matter in the medial temporal, lateral temporoparietal and occipital regions and in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex.
However, those receiving B vitamin treatment experienced significantly less atrophy in regions of the brain most affected in people with AD and people with MCI who go on to develop AD. These include the bilateral hippocampus, the parahippocampal gyrus, the retrosplenial precuneus, the lingual gyrus, the fusiform gyrus and the cerebellum. The placebo group experienced a 3.7 percent loss of gray matter in these regions, compared with a 0.5 percent loss among the experimental group.
When they looked at baseline tHcy levels, Smith and his colleagues found that B-vitamin treatment did not significantly reduce gray matter atrophy among subjects with tHcy levels below the median. The B-vitamin cocktail did have a significant effect on high-tHcy participants: those receiving the cocktail experienced only a 0.6 percent loss of gray matter, while high-tHcy participants in the placebo group experienced a 5.2 percent loss.
The team found a correlation between gray matter loss and worsening of scores on tests that measure cognitive function.
A causal Bayesian network analysis showed that B vitamins lower tHcy levels. This decreases gray matter atrophy, which delays cognitive decline.
Currently approximately 71% of the earth
Patients with treatment-resistant major depression saw dramatic improvement in their illness after treatment with ketamine, an anesthetic, according to the largest ketamine clinical trial to-date led by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The antidepressant benefits of ketamine were seen within 24 hours, whereas traditional antidepressants can take days or weeks to demonstrate a reduction in depression.
The research will be discussed at the American Psychiatric Association meeting on Monday, May 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm in the Press Briefing Room at the Moscone Center in San Franscico.
Led by Dan Iosifescu, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai; Sanjay Mathew, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine; and James Murrough, MD Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai, the research team evaluated 72 people with treatment-resistant depression—meaning their depression has failed to respond to two or more medications—who were administered a single intravenous infusion of ketamine for 40 minutes or an active placebo of midazolam, another type of anesthetic without antidepressant properties. Patients were interviewed after 24 hours and again after seven days. After 24 hours, the response rate was 63.8 percent in the ketamine group compared to 28 percent in the placebo group. The response to ketamine was durable after seven days, with a 45.7 percent response in the ketamine group versus 18.2 percent in the placebo group. Both drugs were well tolerated.
“Using midazolam as an active placebo allowed us to independently assess the antidepressant benefit of ketamine, excluding any anesthetic effects,” said Dr. Murrough, who is first author on the new report. “Ketamine continues to show significant promise as a new treatment option for patients with severe and refractory forms of depression.”
Major depression is caused by a breakdown in communication between nerve cells in the brain, a process that is controlled by chemicals called neurotransmitters. Traditional antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) influence the activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noreprenephrine to reduce depression. In these medicines, response is often significantly delayed and up to 60 percent of people do not respond to treatment, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Ketamine works differently than traditional antidepressants in that it influences the activity of the glutamine neurotransmitter to help restore the dysfunctional communication between nerve cells in the depressed brain, and much more quickly than traditional antidepressants.
Future studies are needed to investigate the longer term safety and efficacy of a course of ketamine in refractory depression. Dr. Murrough recently published a preliminary report in the journal Biological Psychiatry on the safety and efficacy of ketamine given three times weekly for two weeks in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
“We found that ketamine was safe and well tolerated and that patients who demonstrated a rapid antidepressant effect after starting ketamine were able to maintain the response throughout the course of the study,” Dr. Murrough said. “Larger placebo-controlled studies will be required to more fully determine the safety and efficacy profile of ketamine in depression.”
The potential of ketamine was discovered by Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, in collaboration with John H. Krystal, MD, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University.
“Major depression is one of the most prevalent and costly illnesses in the world, and yet currently available treatments fall far short of alleviating this burden,” said Dr. Charney. “There is an urgent need for new, fast-acting therapies, and ketamine shows important potential in filling that void.”
Dr. Murrough will present his research on Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the Moscone exhibit hall at the APA meeting.
This is a simulation of a rotating 4 dimensional Cube, otherwise known as a Tesseract.
What you are seeing is it Rotating. It is not being distorted, reshaped, or anything like that. it is simply Rotating - It appears to be distorted because you are only seeing the ‘projection’ of it. similarly if you rotated a 3D cube infront of lamp the shadow you would see would appear to distort.
Quantum computing took a giant leap forward on the world stage today as NASA and Google, in partnership with a consortium of universities, launched an initiative to investigate how the technology might lead to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.
The new Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab will employ what may be the most advanced commercially available quantum computer, the D-Wave Two, which a recent study confirmed was much faster than conventional machines at defeating specific problems. The machine will be installed at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Facility at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley and is expected to be available for government, industrial, and university research later this year.
Google believes quantum computing might help it improve its web search and speech recognition technology. University researchers might use it to devise better models of disease and climate, among many other possibilities. As for NASA, “computers play a much bigger role within NASA missions than most people realize,” says quantum computing expert Colin Williams, director of business development and strategic partnerships at D-Wave.
Hatay’da yaşanan olayların televizyonlarda yayınlanmayan, internet ortamlarında dahi bilinmeyen kişiler tarafınca kaldırılan, silinen videolardan yalnızca bir tanesi.
Sırf buna dair haber yaptı diye gazetecileri gözaltına alıyorlar, tutukluyorlar. İnsanlar bunlardan habersiz, yaşananları bilmiyorlar. 177 ölü, 160 civarı yaralı olmasına rağmen hâlâ olaydan tam anlamıyla haberdar olamayan insanlar sadece 40 ölünün, 100 civarı yaralının olduğunu zannediyor.
Sanal alemde bu videoları yaymaktan başka inanın hiçbir çaremiz yok. Ülkemiz savaşın ucunda, 177 insanımızın hesabı da bundan önce olan olaylar gibi sorulmayacak.
En azından paylaşın ki insanların gerçeklerden haberleri olsun.
O elinizi iki dakika vicdanınıza koyun ya nolur.
Benim bu ülkeden umudum yok.İnsanlıktan umudum yok.Sadece hala insani duygular taşıyan,bananecilikten uzak insanları hissederek nefes almaya calışıyorum.Çok bittik biz.Yokuz gibi..
Acetylcholine (ACh) is another neurotransmitter, best known for being the neurotransmitter that bridges the gaps between neurons and muscles. Unlike neurotransmitters acting upon other neurons, ACh has a 1:1 action on muscles. One action potential causes a muscle contraction, no need for build up (like with EPSPs and IPSPs). The amount of ACh released and the pattern in which it is released will determine how much the muscle contracts and for how long.
I found this great infographic online to show the process of ACh on muscle contraction from here. Nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes, acts upon ACh receptors. ACh also has its own actions in the brain, which I will talk about another time.