research news

Head injury causes the immune system to attack the brain

Scientists have uncovered a surprising way to reduce the brain damage caused by head injuries - stopping the body's immune system from killing brain cells. The study, published in the open access journal Acta Neuropathologica Communications, showed that in experiments on mice, an immune-based treatment reduced the size of brain lesions. The authors suggest that if the findings apply to humans, this could help prevent brain damage from accidents, and protect players of contact sports like American football, rugby and boxing.

research news

Rapid agent restores pleasure-seeking ahead of other antidepressant action

A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of — and ahead of — its other antidepressant effects, in a National Institutes of Health trial. Within 40 minutes after a single infusion of ketamine, treatment-resistant depressed bipolar disorder patients experienced a reversal of a key symptom — loss of interest in pleasurable activities — which lasted up to 14 days. Brain scans traced the agent’s action to boosted activity in areas at the front and deep in the right hemisphere of the brain.

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See-Through, One-Atom-Thick, Carbon Electrodes are a Powerful Tool for Studying Epilepsy, Other Brain Disorders, Study Finds

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have used graphene -- a two-dimensional form of carbon only one atom thick -- to fabricate a new type of microelectrode that solves a major problem for investigators looking to understand the intricate circuitry of the brain.

research news

That pregnant feeling makes a fly start nesting

Across the animal kingdom, it’s not uncommon for pregnancy to change an expectant mom’s behavior. Even female flies have their own rudimentary way of “nesting,” which appears to be brought on by the stretch of their egg-filled abdomens rather than the act of mating, according to a Duke study published online October 16 in Cell Reports.

After mating, the female fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster dramatically shifts priorities as she prepares to lay eggs.

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