Geology, Neurology, News, Videos

Crater wall collapse causes lava explosion in Hawaii [with video]

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A crater wall collapse in a Hawaiian volcano has triggered a powerful lava explosion. The Kilauea explosion spread lava and debris around it, in a spectacular display which was caught on camera by the USGS. Material was thrown 280 feet (85 meters) up into the air. Janet Babb, a geologist with the USGS, compared the blast to popping a champagne

Neurology, News

The Brain Wikipedia – Scientists Launch Open-Access Neuron Database

Image via CG Trader.

The human brain is one of the biggest and most intriguing mysteries scientists are tackling. It’s an incredibly active, bustling place that keeps us going and effectively makes us the people we are. There are about 100 billion neurons processing and transmitting information through electrical and chemical signals and to make things even more complicated, each of these neurons has about 10,000 different connections to neighboring brain cells.

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Kept in the dark: half of Alzheimer’s diagnoses aren’t disclosed by doctors

Alzheimer's diagnosis

For its annual report, the The Alzheimer’s Association in the US claims that more than half of all reported early Alzheimer’s diagnoses aren’t disclosed to the patient by doctors. This is a situation reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s when cancer diagnoses were rarely disclosed to patients as the disease was generally seen as incurable. Like in the case of the long-gone cancer stigma, doctors may be doing more harm than good. They don’t want patients to lose hope, but being kept in the dark as to their suffering can be equally bad, if not worse.

Art, Great Pics, Neurology, Science

Stunning Neurons on Canvas Painted by a Neuroscientist

neurons painting

The human brain is often described as the most beautiful organism in the Universe. We say this because of the beautiful things the mind, sustained by the brain, can create and imagine. Greg Dunn earned his PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, but while his colleagues are fiddling with microscopes to unravel the inner workings of brain cells, he works with a paintbrush to magnify neurons on a canvas. His work shows a brain whose beauty transcends romanticism and awes in its raw form.

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Long-term memory isn’t stored in synapses, meaning it could be restored even when struck by Alzheimer’s

When synapses are destroyed, the memories that they foster aren't necessarily erased. Credit: Red Orbit

For a while, the general consensus was that long term memories are stored in synapses. A new  UCLA research topples this paradigm after experiments made on snails suggests that synapses aren’t that crucial storing memories as previously believed, but only facilitate the transfer of information someplace else, most likely in the nucleus of the neurons themselves – though this has yet

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Storing info in computers frees up memory in the brain, helping us learn new things better

brain storage

Widespread use of computers is said to make people dumber or more prone to forgetfulness. It’s true, while we’re less inclined to memorize things such as poems or mathematical formulas, this doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing. A study made by US psychologists found that when people save information on their computers or phones, this frees up cognitive resources

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

How the brain transforms bad experiences into long-lasting and unpleasant memories

Unpleasant memories are a lot easier to form than regular ones. Image: Silence of the Lambs.

Really bad experiences, like going through a particularly stressful or frighting situation, are a lot easier to remember than the things we do a day to day basis, or even those special pleasant experiences. That’s because we’re sort of evolutionary geared to remember those particularly nasty experiences so that we might avoid these in the future. A collaborative effort between New York

Neurology, Videos

Reactivating positive memories might fight depression [TED Talk]

sugar water

Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu are two neuroscientists who are at the very forefront of their field. Their work is focused on mapping the memory system, but also on how memory activation alters neural pathways, thus changing our mood. For instance, the two spoke recently during a TED talk about their most impressive experiment yet where they used blue light to

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Fantasy and Reality – how does the brain tell the difference?

fantasy dreamAC

Some people, like history’s greatest artists or scientists, have a fantastic imagination that long transcends reality. Others have this line completely blurred and can’t make sense of what’s real or not. For most of us, however, fantasy and reality are clearly separated in our mental psyche. Now, a team of neuroscientists have explored the neural pathways that move information pertaining to

Mind & Brain, Neurology, News

Anxiety can damage the brain and foster Alzheimer’s

Studies have shown that anxiety in MCI is associated with abnormal concentrations of plasma amyloid protein levels and T-tau proteins in cerebrospinal fluid, which are biomarkers of Alzheimer’s. Photo: Therapy Ideas

Researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences’ Rotman Research Institute have found that patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who also show anxiety symptoms are at a much greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This was the first study of its kind that isolated anxiety in a longitudinal study covering people diagnosed with MCI, painting a clearer picture of how anxiety interferes with cognitive