Mini CRISPR Genome Editing System Created
In a new paper, researchers announce what they believe is a major step forward for CRISPR: An efficient, multi-purpose, mini CRISPR system. Whereas the commonly used CRISPR systems – with names like Cas9 and Cas12a denoting various versions of CRISPR-associated (Cas) proteins – are made of about 1000 to 1500 amino acids, their “CasMINI” has 529.
Novel Mini Brains Mimic Major Pathological Features of Parkinson’s Disease
Tiny brains-in-a-dish that mimic the major pathological features of Parkinson’s disease have been made for the first time. The research offers a new way to study how the degenerative brain disease progresses and explore possible new treatments.
Beyond Dopamine: New Brain Reward Pathway Is Revealed
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released through a reward system in the brain. A spike in dopamine could come from drugs and lead to substance abuse. Researchers in search of ways of treating addiction and psychiatric illness have found another pathway that could play a key role in rewards and reinforcement beyond dopamine.
Molecular Memory: New Device Mimics the Brain's Plasticity
Researchers have developed a novel molecular device with exceptional computing prowess that is reminiscent of the plasticity of connections in the human brain and can be reconfigured for different computational tasks by simply changing applied voltages.
Network Algorithm Could Improve Brain Stimulation
For millions of people with epilepsy and movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, electrical stimulation of the brain already is widening treatment possibilities. A new study promises to make effective stimulation easier to achieve with the development of algorithms that model connections in the brain.
Ketamine Findings Reveal Anesthesia Mechanism
By developing the first statistical model to finely characterize how ketamine anesthesia affects the brain, a team of researchers have laid new groundwork for three advances: understanding how ketamine induces anesthesia; monitoring the unconsciousness of patients in surgery; and applying a new method of analyzing brain activity.
Drug Combo Reduces Age-Related Disc Degeneration in Mice
Degeneration of the discs that cushion and support vertebrae, a common occurrence of aging, is a major contributor to low back pain. Although a widespread condition, few treatments are available. Researchers have now shown that treating mice with a drug cocktail that removes aging cells reduces disc degeneration.
Epilepsy Implant Does Not Alter a Patients’ Sense of Self or Personality
A study of patient experience has shown that the use of next-generation brain implants for treating refractory epilepsy does not induce changes to patients’ personalities or self-perceptions.
Connection Between Brain’s Opioid System and Food Cravings
Researchers have discovered a connection between the function of the opioid system and food cravings triggered by appetitive external stimuli.
Mapping the Neural Circuitry of Spirituality
Scientists have long suspected that religiosity and spirituality could be mapped to specific brain circuits. Now, a study using novel technology and a map of neural connections has identified a brain circuit that seems to mediate that aspect of our personality.