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Showing posts from September, 2015

Paralyzed Man Walks Again Using Brain-Wave System

"Even after years of paralysis, the brain can still generate robust brain waves that can be harnessed to enable basic walking."

Live Science | By Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner

A 26-year-old man who was paralyzed in both legs has regained the ability to walk using a system controlled by his brain waves, along with a harness to help support his body weight, a new study says.

In order to walk, the patient wore a cap with electrodes that detected his brain signals. These electrical signals — the same as those a doctor looks at when running an electroencephalogram (EEG) test — were sent to a computer, which "decoded" the brain waves. It then used them to send instructions to another device that stimulated the nerves in the man's legs, causing the muscles to move.

Using this system, the patient, who had been paralyzed for five years after a spinal cord injury, was able to walk about 12 feet (3.66 meters). He used a walker and wore a harness to provide some body-wei…

Neuronal Connection Between Fat and the Brain Visualized

Researchers pinpoint the neurons within white fat tissue that mediate brain-bound leptin signaling and eventual fat breakdown.

The hormone leptin, produced by fat cells, acts as a satiety signal to the brain, resulting in fat breakdown when levels are high. The hormone, present in proportion to the amount of fat tissue, is known to act on hypothalamic neurons in the brain to tell an animal when it’s full and to kick-start the breakdown of fat. Now, a team led by researchers at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC) in Portugal and the Rockefeller University in New York City have, for the first time, provided direct visual evidence that some sympathetic neurons from the brain indeed terminate within fat cells. The researchers also used optogenetics to stimulate these neurons within a fat pad in mice and cause the breakdown of fat. Their results were published today (September 24) in Cell.
“This is a very comprehensive study with quite a beautiful dataset,” saidStephanie Fulton, who …

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Anti-Idiotype Antibody against Pre-Membrane-Specific Antibody as an Adjunct to Current Dengue Vaccination Strategy By Andrew W. Taylor-Robinson

Dengue is a rapidly emerging vector-borne viral disease of humans transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. Dengue viruses are divided into five antigenically distinct serotypes, DENV-1 to -5. The disease is endemic in over 130 countries, placing almost half of the world’s population at risk. Clinical disease presents as either a mild self-limiting infection or severe complications. Recovery from primary infection by one serotype provides life-long immunity against reinfection by that particular serotype whereas with subsequent infections by other serotypes the risk of developing severe dengue is increased. In contrast to previous understanding that immature dengue virus particles are non-infective it was shown recently that they become highly…