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Medicine    April 1, 2016
Posted by Shelly Fan

Zapping the brain with implanted electrodes may sound like a ridiculously dangerous treatment, but for many patients with Parkinson’s disease, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is their only relief. The procedure starts with open-skull surgery. Guided by MRI images, surgeons implant electrodes into deep-seated brain regions that contain malfunctioning neural networks. By rapidly delivering electrical pulses, […]

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Technology    February 1, 2016
Posted by Shelly Fan

A wide-eyed, rosy-cheeked, babbling human baby hardly looks like the ultimate learning machine. But under the hood, an 18-month-old can outlearn any state-of-the-art artificial intelligence algorithm. Their secret sauce? They watch; they imitate, and they extrapolate. Artificial intelligence researchers have begun to take notice. This week, two separate teams dipped their toes into cognitive psychology […]

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Medicine    January 11, 2016
Posted by Shelly Fan

Aging insidiously leaves its mark on our brains. With age, our well-oiled neuronal machinery slowly breaks down: gene expression patterns turn wacky, the nuclear membrane disintegrates, and neatly organized molecules inside the cells break out of their segregated compartments, turning the intracellular environment into a maladaptive, muddled molecular soup. more By clicking on this link […]

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Medicine, Technology    November 18, 2015
Posted by Shelly Fan

Learning to walk again after a traumatic accident is no easy task. One of the hardest things for motor-impaired patients is to generate the correct brain signals to help them recover efficiently. The current best option is physiotherapy: through hard work and frustration, patients gradually relearn the sequence of motor instructions required to sit, walk, stand […]

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Medicine    October 14, 2015
Posted by Shelly Fan

In 2001, a team of neurologists at UC San Diego began testing a highly experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The process sounds far more sci-fi than science: Using tiny pieces of skin taken from the backs of eight patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the team isolated a long-living type of connective tissue cells. Then — using […]

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