Anti-cancer virus shows promise

An engineered virus injected directly in the patient’s blood has shown some remarkable promise in targeting and destroying cancer cells, in what researchers have called a first. Using viruses to attack cancer isn’t really a novel concept, but until now, they had to be injected directly into the tumour, which leads to several other complications. But this new breakthrough could

Human mating with Neanderthals made our immune system stronger

The mating between Neanderthals and modern homo sapiens has been a highly controversial matter between scientists in the anthropology scene for decades now. That was until last year, however, when anthropologists convened that the two related species did indeed mate, but the genes passed down from Neanderthals were inactive. Recently, there’s been another reason for contradiction, once with the publishing

The US is debating the use of chimps in medical research

The United States and Gabon are the only countries left in the world that are still using chimps for medical research. While research made on our closest relatives is considered invaluable by scientists studying deadly diseases such as HIV, animal rights activists are pressuring the authorities to ban the use of chimps in research labs, considered cruel by all means.

MRI scan reveals tarantulas have double heartbeat

Biologists from Edinburgh University might have stumbled across a significant discovery, after strapping a tarantula to a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, which showed how its heart contracted in a unique double beat. The find might apply to a species of spiders. If your curious to see the strange double heart beat for yourself, scientists have a video up on the

Memory deficits of the elderly may be reversed

A team of researchers from Yale University have shown at a cellular basis why we tend to be more forgetful as we age, and claim that the condition may be reversed. There’s no secret to the fact that an elderly person has a much weaker memory than the one he did at 20 years of age, but the whole process

Meditation stronger than morphine and drugs

Meditation can have pain reliefing effects much greater than even morphine, one of the strongest drugs, according to a recent study. We are only beginning to understand the deep effects that meditation has on our bodies, and researchers are baffled, to say the least. It calms and relieves pain with unbelievable efficiency, reducing the pain by more than half, and

Amazing device allows the blind to see with their ears

More like props from a James Bond movie than something that might have come from a scientific lab, a new device developed by neuroscientists combines a pair of special glasses, a webcam and a smartphone might allow the blind to see again by converting visual signals into auditory ones, which get transmitted through a headset. The amazing device, called “vOICe”,

An unhealthy lifestyle leads to brain shrinkage later on, study says

The latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” has been put to the test by researchers who wanted to study what kind of repercussions an unhealthy lifestyle has on the mind. What they found was a dramatic increase in brain damage and dementia cases among subjects who have experienced¬†high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity in middle age. The study,

Scientists genetically engineer glowing dog

In what’s maybe the most startling research I’ve been granted to read about recently, scientists from South Korea at Seoul National University, home to the world’s only strictly genetic engineering curricula, have successfully created a dog that can glow in the dark. The genetically modified female beagle, named Tegon, was born in 2009 using a cloning technique which could help

Researchers create artificial lung that works on air, not oxygen

Researchers from Cleveland have managed to create an artificial lung that reaches an efficiency comparable to that of the real organ, by using air, instead of pure oxygen, as an essential element. There is still a long way to go, and human transplant is years away, but the results so far are extremely encouraging, and the device is a huge

Northern people have bigger eyes and brains

A new Oxford University study shows how people living further away from the equator have bigger eyes and brains than those living closer to it. This is to cope with the harsh colder climate, scientists say. Anthropologists come to this conclusion after examining 55 skulls, dating from the 1800s, representing 12 different populations from around the globe. By measuring eye

Amazing Brain Art

Brain-Art competition is an annual celebration of the beauty and creativity of artistic renderings emerging from the neuroimaging community. Last month concluded the first edition in which various artists from around the world submitted some incredible work for the competition’s galleries – 3D-rendering gallery, connectome gallery, abstract gallery and humorous gallery. Below are a few pieces I found really enjoyable

Shorties: US is the only developed nation to drink milk from cows given artificial hormones

As an European, it often seems to me like the US is a land of striking contrasts – it is in fact the land of opportunities. Matter of fact, I was absolutely shocked to find out that the US is still allowing milk from cows which were given artificial growth hormone, especially since this hormone was banned in Canada, Australia,

Even the best liars can’t suppress all their facial expresions

Mark Frank has been studying the faces of people lying when the stakes are high for over two decades, being one of the leading authorities in this matter; now, he has some good news for the good guys. According to his latest research, entitled “Executing Facial Control During Deception Situations” people lying can suppress most of their betraying facial expressions,

New DNA sequencing device could decode your genome for just $1000

News of a low-cost semiconductor-based gene sequencing machine has been reported this Wednesday in the journal Nature, by a team led by Jonathan Rothberg. The astonishing advancement might lead to a age of personal human genome sequence, where people will be able to decipher their own DNA for as low as $1000. The human genome was first mapped in 2001 and

CalTech soup displays brainlike behaviour

Researchers from the CalTech University have managed to create the first artificial neural network from DNA, a circuit built out of interactinig molecules that can recall memories based on an incomplete pattern, in pretty much the same way a brain works. “Although brainlike behaviors within artificial biochemical systems have been hypothesized for decades,” says Lulu Qian, a Caltech senior postdoctoral

Neural signature of mental time travel

Pretty much everyone has experienced some sort of memory triggering, but there hasn’t been any satisfactory explanation for this common phenomenon. But now, researchers from University of Pennsylvania have provided the first neurobiological proof that memories which are formed in the same context can become linked, the foundation of the theory of episodic memory. This study was headed by professor

HIV treatment brings African patients to normal lifespan

It seems that recently, science is finally beginning to corner the HIV virus. Last week, two studies had the same conclusions, showing how a daily antiviral pill protects sexually active men and women from becoming infected with HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS. Now, researchers show that the life expectancy of already infected African people getting HIV treatment is

Over half of Alzheimer’s cases could be avoided

According to a study conducted by Deborah Barnes, PhD, a mental health researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, more than half of all Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes or light treatment. Analyzing thousands of cases worldwide, she concluded that the biggest impacting factors on Alzheimer that can be modified are, in descending order, low education,

Genetic research confirms that non-Africans are part Neanderthal

There has been a long standing debate regarding the Neanderthal people, and what kind of legacy we carry from them. Recently, a study conducted by an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center showed that a part of the human X chromosome originating