In 1907, the American zoologist Ross Granville Harrison developed the first technique to artificially grow animal cells outside the body in a liquid medium. Cells are still grown in much the same way in modern laboratories: a single layer of cells is placed in a warm incubator with nutrient-rich broth. These cell layers are often used to test new drugs, but they cannot recapitulate the complexity of a real organ made from multiple cell types within a living, breathing human body.
“All’s well that ends well”, wrote William Shakespeare over 400 years ago. The words may still seem to ring true today, but turns out they don’t. We have just busted the old myth in a recent brain imaging experiment, published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Experiences that end well are not necessarily good overall and experiences that end less well are not necessarily all that bad. For example, if you play five rounds of poker you get more overall enjoyment from winning twice in the middle than once at the end – but we don’t always realise this.
Delirium with a fever could be an early marker of COVID-19, report researchers from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). The manifestation of this state of confusion, when accompanied by high fever, should be considered an early marker of the disease, particularly in the case of elderly patients, they argue. Delirium is a state of confusion in which the person feels out of touch with reality, as if they are dreaming.
Researchers at the University of Exeter have created a new epigenetic clock for the human brain. Because it uses human brain tissue samples, it is a far more accurate clock than previous versions based on blood samples or other tissues. The research area of epigenetic clocks is a really exciting, and has the potential to help us understand the mechanisms involved in aging. Our new clock will help us explore accelerated aging in the human brain.
Machine-learning has been employed to classify fMRI data by scientists from Texas Tech University. In a recent study1, they developed a type of deep-learning algorithm known as a convolutional neural network (CNN) that can differentiate among the fMRI signals of healthy people, people with mild cognitive impairment, and people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Network activation map from the output of second temporal convolution layer (64 channels) mapped onto MNI brain atlas.
The question of how to find a steady romantic partnership is among the oldest human predicaments. There is consequently considerable interest in what factors might predict partnership success. Traits like warmth, conscientiousness, agreeableness and trust all seem to matter. But can behaviour in childhood predict your future partnering prospects? In a new study published with my colleagues in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry we show that children rated by their elementary schoolteachers as being anxious or inattentive were more likely to remain unpartnered from age 18 to 35 years.
A very high resolution map of the white-grey matter border across the entire living brain has been created by a multidisciplinary team led by Nikolaus Weiskopf from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Credit: MPI CBS) Current neuroscience thinks of the brain as composed of two tissue types. Billions of neurons make up the gray matter, forming a thin layer on the brain’s surface.
One out of every 3,000 people carries a genetic defect known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, or 22q11DS. It is one of the most widespread chromosomal deletions known to occur in humans. People carrying 22q11DS are at a 30-times higher risk for schizophrenia than those in the general population. This dwarfs the magnitude of all other known genetic or environmental risk factors. Additionally, some 30%-40% of individuals with this deletion receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder early in their lives.