The Science Of Why Music Helps Us Connect In Isolation

“Don’t hold back, sing with all of your heart,” said our colleague Simon Baron-Cohen on a Zoom meeting the other night with his fellow band members. Simon is director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University by day and bass player of the blues and funk group Deep Blue by night. His band and many others are taking to the Zoom airways to play music together. One of the most encouraging phenomena we have begun to see in response to social distancing laws are the innovative ways that people are starting to bond with each other, particularly musically.

Fear Memory Extinction Depends On Flexibility Of DNA

The ability to extinguish fearful memories relies on a change in DNA structure: from Z-DNA to B-DNA, new research shows. The findings suggest that the more easily you can switch between DNA these structures, the more plastic your memory is. “DNA can adopt a variety of different structures. The most common and most widely recognized form is the ‘B-DNA’ double helix, which twists in a clockwise direction. But, with a slight rearrangement of how DNA base-pairs connect with one another, DNA can form other helical structures, such as Z-DNA," says Dr Paul Marshall, a researcher at University of Queensland’s Queensland Brain Institute and lead author of the study[1].

People Aged 95 And Over Show Stronger Brain Connectivity

People aged 95 and over demonstrated more activation between the left and ride side of their brain than their younger counterparts, according to new research. Given the prevalence of dementia increases with age, near-centenarians and centenarians without dementia are generally considered as models of successful aging and resistance against age-related cognitive decline. “We wanted to see if there was something particularly special about the brain’s functional connectivity of those aged 95 and older that helps them preserve brain function into the 11th decade of their life," said study leader Dr.

Nanoparticles Enter Living Cells To Gather Cancer Clues

A new imaging technique sends nanoparticles into living cells to reveal important information about cell structure, including how tumor cells physically change as they form a tumor. The technique captures mechanical properties in living subjects that probe fundamental relationships between physics and in vivo (in a living organism) biology. “We engineered the ability to measure and quantify the nanomechanical properties of individual living cells within the body of a living animal for the first time,” says Bryan Smith, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan State University, who worked with colleagues to develop the particles.

Think Of Mental Disorders As The Mind’s ‘Sticky Tendencies’

What exactly are mental disorders? The answer to this question is important because it informs how researchers should go about trying to explain mental disorders, how the public responds to people who experience them, and how we should go about developing treatments for them. Despite the importance of this question, there’s little consensus on the answer. Some hold that mental disorders are brain diseases. Others argue that they’re social constructs used to medicalise aberrant behaviour.

Exercise Steps Up Motor Skill Learning Through Neurotransmitter Changes

Key neurological modifications following sustained exercise have been identified by scientists at University of California San Diego. “This study provides new insight into how we get good at things that require motor skills and provides information about how these skills are actually learned," said Professor Nick Spitzer, the Atkinson Family Chair in the Biological Sciences Section of Neurobiology and a director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind.

Coconut For Acid Reflux Relief

Coconuts grow in profusion in tropical countries such as the Philippines. People in these areas discovered many uses for coconuts from its trunk, leaves and fruits. Not a single part of the coconut plant is wasted as all of it has specific uses. Recent developments have brought the attention of Americans to the medical values of the coconut fruit. Past clinical studies showed that components of the coconut have remarkable effects as antihistamines, anti-infectives/antiseptics, enhances and strengthens the immune system as well as a glucocortcoid antagonist.

A Promising New Treatment For Recurrent Pediatric Brain Cancer

Two pediatric brain cancers that are challenging to treat if they recur, medulloblastoma and ependymoma, are the target of a clinical trial using a new type of therapy. A multi-institutional, international team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has developed a novel approach that delivers appropriately-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy directly into the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the tumor.