July 2, 2013 |
[This post has been corrected. See note at bottom.] A federally approved drug already being inhaled by asthma patients may make mice with Down syndrome smarter, according to a new study. Researchers chose to test the widely manufactured bronchodilator, Formoterol, because it also acts on a brain chemical crucial to memory-based learning. Earlier research had shown a similar compound successfully stimulated production of that brain chemical, called a neurotransmitter, which then improved neuron formation and cognition in mice that had been genetically altered to show symptoms of Down syndrome, according to Dr. Ahmad Salehi, a Stanford University neurobiologist who led the study, published Tuesday in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
May 20, 2013 |
A crew of Mongolian gerbils may have gone where no Mongolian gerbil has gone before, but they did not come back alive. A Russian spacecraft filled with mice, lizards and other animals has returned to Earth -- but with the majority of its furred passengers apparently dead. The Bion-M experiment, launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on April 19, carried 45 mice, 15 geckos, 18 Mongolian gerbils, 20 snails and a number of different plants, seeds and microorganisms, according to a Russian state news site . About half of the mice died, but the lizards reportedly survived.
May 23, 2011 |
Steady exposure to the electromagnetic radiation given off by cellphones during use may disrupt fetal development, disturb memory and weaken the barrier that protects the brain from environmental toxins, says a welter of new research being presented this week in Istanbul, Turkey. The authors of the studies, published in the past two years, highly preliminary and conducted on rabbits, mice and rats, suggested that the non-ionizing radiation emitted by cellphones and the base stations that broadcast cellphone signals may fundamentally damage cells by means other than the heat that they generate.
April 8, 2011 |
Drinking at a young age is simply bad for the brain, according to a growing number of studies. The latest study looks at the relationship between alcohol and the brain in mice. And the results are not pretty. Researchers gave mice alcohol daily for 10 days and later examined their brains with MRI. The mice who were drinkers in youth had smaller forebrain volume and size as adults. The study also found reduced activity in some genes that govern brain chemicals called neurotransmitters 24 hours after an alcohol binge in adolescent mice.
December 21, 2010 |
Hexavalent chromium. The term sounds high-tech and slightly ominous to those unfamiliar with it -- and apparently few people are familiar with it. Hexavelent chromium is currently piquing online readers' curiosity. The highly publicized specter of potentially toxic water can do that. So here are some basics.... Hexavelent chromium is, quite obviously, a form of the element chromium. The heavy metal is more commonly called chromium 6 and it's used in the production of stainless steel, pigments and protective coatings.
December 17, 2001
Reported in Gene Trial Scientists have cured sickle-cell disease in a strain of mice by using a powerful gene therapy method that can replace nearly all diseased blood cells with healthy ones. Patients with sickle-cell disease have blood cells that deform when oxygen levels are low, creating painful blockages of blood vessels and producing organ damage. Researchers from Harvard University and MIT reported in the Dec. 14 issue of Science that they used a modified virus to treat the disease.
February 24, 2001 |
U.S. researchers have produced laboratory mice with human brain cells, marking a potential step toward developing treatments for human brain disease such as Alzheimer's but promising to fuel fresh debate over bioengineering. The research was done at California biotechnology company StemCells Inc. "We are not re-creating a human brain.
September 24, 2005 |
British scientists have created the first effective mouse model of Down syndrome by inserting more than 90% of human chromosome 21 into mouse cells. Humans with the disease have an extra copy of the chromosome.
July 2, 1990 |
A new strain of midget mice that are only half normal size has been developed by Ohio University researchers who accomplished the feat by modifying the gene for a growth hormone and inserting it into the animals, the scientists report today. The researchers say the technique should work for any animal, so it should be possible to develop small rodents, pigs and other laboratory animals that would require less space and food.
July 25, 2013 |
In courtrooms, on therapists' couches and across the kitchen table, we count on the trustworthiness of our memories. But brain scientists are increasingly demonstrating that our recollections don't exactly deserve the faith we put in them. They can be self-servingly Photoshopped, nudged off the mark by suggestion, and corrupted by being dragged out and rehashed. Just how flimsy are the foundations of memory? So flimsy that in a neuroscience lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers were able to fabricate fearful memories and implant them in the brains of mice using a few electrical probes, some photo-sensitive chemicals and a miniature flashlight.