Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ABOUT US
Advances in imaging could deepen knowledge of brain
By Jean-Louis SANTINI
Boston (AFP) Feb 17, 2017


New imaging techniques enable exploration of the brain in much more detail than ever before, opening the door to greater understanding of neurological problems and possibly new treatments, researchers say.

Showcased this week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, the research and innovations are the product of three US scientists involved in a project launched by former president Barack Obama in 2013 to unlock the inner workings of the brain.

Obama's Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative promised a multidisciplinary approach, with a budget of $434 million for 2017, aimed at unlocking the mysteries of the brain and treating diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and schizophrenia.

One of the technologies developed as part of the initiative, called Scape, enables scientists to see brain structures at a microscopic level.

Scape permits the three-dimensional observation of individual neurons in the brain of a fruit fly as the insect is in flight, searching for food or suddenly afraid for its life, said Elisabeth Hillman, professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University.

"You can see actually flashing green as the brain is telling the body to move," she told the conference.

"We can image every single neuron in the entire brain of these organisms, which was never possible to do before."

The new tool opens up multiple paths for research, including deciphering the signals currently seen in magnetic resonance imagery (MRI).

"We are hoping to leverage this new technique to better understand diseases," she said.

- Portable MRI -

Another new technology, the recently patented portable MRI, also promises advances for mobile diagnosis, said Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, assistant professor of research at West Virginia University.

The size of an American football helmet, the advanced, miniature technology is worn on the head and does not interfere with patients' ability to move freely.

The new device can peer deeply into the brain's structures as opposed to older MRI scans, which only scan the brain's surface.

"A lot of important things that are going on with emotion, memory, behavior are way deep in the center of the brain... areas we can reach with our technology," Brefczynski-Lewis said.

"So you can get the instructions in the brain that are important for walking, for balance and eventually we will be covering the entire brain from top to bottom," she added.

The device can be used for scanning patients suffering strokes, epilepsy, or from injuries sustained during accidents or on the battlefield.

"With this technique, you can study someone in the ER (emergency room) with a stroke and find out different treatment options that may be more appropriate," Brefczynski-Lewis said. "It is personal medicine."

- Remotely firing neurons -

Another area of brain exploration involves a technology that can remotely activate or fire neurons from a distance using radio waves or magnetic fields.

"The idea is to be non-invasive," said Sarah Stanley, assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

"We don't want to interfere with the behavior of the organism we are studying."

Activating neurons in precise locations of the brain could help researchers discover new treatments by showing which cells are involved in which illnesses.

The technology could also be used to improve the targeting of deep-brain stimulation by electrical impulses, currently used to minimize symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

"This method could help in the discovery of drugs, what kind of cell type is involved in a disease and help cure the diseases," Stanley said.


Comment on this article using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here






Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
ABOUT US
Flat-footed fighters
Salt Lake City UT (SPX) Feb 17, 2017
Walking on our heels, a feature that separates great apes, including humans, from other primates, confers advantages in fighting, according to a new University of Utah study published in Biology Open. Although moving from the balls of the feet is important for quickness, standing with heels planted allows more swinging force, according to study lead author and biologist David Carrier, sugg ... read more


ABOUT US
DR Congo snubs calls for inquiry of massacre video

British Museum training Iraqi experts to save Mosul heritage

Drug shortages and malnutrition in Mosul

When Brazil ran 'concentration camps' during droughts

ABOUT US
Penn engineers overcome a hurdle in growing a revolutionary optical metamaterial

Scientists look to tick 'cement' as potential medical adhesive

Researchers engineer thubber a stretchable rubber that packs a thermal conductive punch

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

ABOUT US
Small ponds have outsized impact on global warming: study

Cash-strapped Rio de Janeiro to privatize water utility

Basking sharks seek out winter sun

Oceans have lost 2 percent of oxygen, says study

ABOUT US
Descent into a Frozen Underworld

How an Ice Age paradox could inform sea level rise predictions

Sentinels warn of dangerous ice crack

Arctic cultures take climate fight to Berlin film fest

ABOUT US
Maize study finds genes that help crops adapt to change

Snap beans hard to grow in cover crop residue

Bee decline threatens US crop production

New idea to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production

ABOUT US
Flooding hits Indonesian capital, one dead

Over time, nuisance flooding can cost more than extreme, infrequent events

Volcano Samalas mystery revealed

Researchers catch extreme waves with higher-resolution modeling

ABOUT US
A tonne of ivory, hacked into pieces, seized in Uganda

Civilians in the crossfire of Boko Haram and the military

Fresh delay for Mali interim authorities amid protests

DR Congo dubs video massacre fake, but admits "excesses"

ABOUT US
New evidence highlights maternal hierarchy of Pueblo Bonito

Flat-footed fighters

Advances in imaging could deepen knowledge of brain

Study: The human brain always has a backup plan




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement