Tagged: brain

How does the hypothalamus control ageing? - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 28, 2017

Richard Faragher, University of Brighton If you are reading this and you don’t smoke, then your major risk factor for dying is probably your age. That’s because we have nearly eliminated mortality in early life, thanks to advances in science and engineering. But despite this progress, we still haven’t worked out how to eliminate the damaging effects … Read More

The brain and the gut talk to each other - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 17, 2017

Antonina Mikocka-Walus, Deakin University It’s widely recognised that emotions can directly affect stomach function. As early as 1915, influential physiologist Walter Cannon noted that stomach functions are changed in animals when frightened. The same is true for humans. Those who stress a lot often report diarrhoea or stomach pain. We now know this is because the … Read More

The mutant PRICKLE and the split brain - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Jan 31, 2017

We rarely hear of scientific work making positive use of otherwise unhappy situations, perhaps because writers feel they don’t “sell” well. We also don’t often hear about smaller projects. Here a couple’s unfortunate luck with their child is put to good use learning more about brain development. We all have a brain, in a very real sense … Read More

Psychobiotics – bacteria as a psychiatric medicine? - News

John Kerr Oct 31, 2016

A growing field of research – psychobiotics – hints that the millions of bacteria living inside us have more of a say in our mental well-being than we think. The term ‘psychobiotics’ was coined in 2013 by Ted Dinan to describe bacteria that “produce a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.” Since then there have already been leaps forward in … Read More

Electric dreams of sheep - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 05, 2016

At the moment there is more attention given to, and concern about, machines getting smarter than us. But there is also research going on which possibly, probably, definitely (depending on your source) will make us smarter, stronger, and/or creative. This short video interested me for two reasons.   Firstly, the suggestion that by tapping electronically into our dreams we could … Read More

How our modular brain pieces the world together - Guest Work

Guest Work May 24, 2016

By Bronson Harry, Western Sydney University Picture a close friend. Imagine their face, the sound of their voice, their height, what they normally wear. You might be surprised to learn you have just used a host of different brain regions to recall this information. Curiously, there is no single brain region that is involved in representing the people … Read More

New evidence supporting a link between Zika virus infection and microcephaly - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 05, 2016

Scientists have just reported that in the lab, the Zika virus can infect and destroy neural stem cells that give rise to the brain’s cerebral cortex. Updated 6/3/2016 to include links to new papers Zika is the virus spread by mosquitoes (and more rarely by sexual transmission) that is currently causing concern across … Read More

Monday Micro – mind manipulating microbes revisited - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 23, 2013

One of my favourite microbes is Toxoplasma gondii, the little protozoa famous for making mice less afraid of cats. T. gondii also causes toxoplasmosis which can be serious, especially for those with a compromised immune system. It’s the reason women are excused from cleaning cat litter trays during pregnancy as infection can result … Read More