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New drug shows early promise in small Alzheimer's trial

A drug called PBT2, developed by Australian company Prana Biotechnology, appears to improve cognitive abilities in patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease.  Researchers report in Lancet Neurology , that it was also successful in reducing protein buildup associated with the debilitating neurodegenerative illness, which plagues up to 4.5 million Americans.

July 30, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan

Who's afraid? Not these brain cells

Rutgers University researchers have found brain cells responsible for helping people overcome fear of things they once found scary. The finding, published in Nature , could pave the way for these so-called intercalated cells in the amygdala, a brain region that processes fear, to become drug targets for treating phobias (such as fear of heights and closed spaces) as well as post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers and others.

July 11, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan

First Biennial Kavli Prizewinners Announced

Seven scientists from three scientific disciplines today were awarded the first biennial Kavli Prizes. Each of the three award categories come with $1-million cash prize for researchers working in astrophysics, neuroscience and nanoscience.

May 28, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan

Monkeys Hear Voices

Introduction By Jonah Lehrer, Editor, Mind Matters The ability to communicate with language is one of the defining talents of the human mind.

April 8, 2008 — Mind Matters

Climbing Mountains Kills Brain Cells

Back in September, R. Douglas Fields, a senior investigator at the NIH, wrote a really interesting post for Mind Matters on the neural hazards of tall mountains.

April 7, 2008 — Mind Matters

Pediatrician zings Jenny McCarthy over vaccines and autism

Is Larry King Live the ideal venue for a reasoned discussion about a controversial topic in science? That was the question Wednesday when one of King’s guests was former actress and model Jenny McCarthy, whose 5-year-old son, Evan was diagnosed with autism at age 2.

April 4, 2008 — Nikhil Swaminathan

Recognizing the Familiar

_____________________ Is Familiarity Different Than Remembering? Brock Kirwan
UCSD Have you ever had the experience of seeing someone in the grocery store that you know you've already met, but you can't quite remember where or when you met them?

April 1, 2008 — Mind Matters

The Power of Power Naps

_____________________ Tired? Take A Nap Jessica Payne and Matthew Walker
Harvard University and University of California at Berkeley Sleep is such a fundamental biological drive that it's shared by practically every species, from fruit flies to humans.

March 25, 2008 — Mind Matters

Intriguing books found around the Sci Am office, part one: murder

A Cultural History of Causality: Science, Murder Novels, and Systems of Thought By Stephen Kern From Google Books: This pioneering work is the first to trace how our understanding of the causes of human behavior has changed radically over the course of European and American cultural history since 1830.

March 21, 2008 — JR Minkel

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50% off for Back to School

50% off for Back to School