A postdoctoral student has developed a technique for implanting thought-controlled robotic arms and their electrodes directly to the bones and nerves of amputees, a move which he is calling "the future of artificial limbs." The first volunteers...
In a recent study, published in the journal of Nature Neuroscience, the researchers trained mice to fear the smell of cherry blossom using electric shocks before allowing them to breed. The offspring produced showed fearful responses to the odor of cherry blossom compared to a neutral odor, despite never having encountered them before. The following generation also showed the same behavior. This effect continued even if the mice had been fathered through artificial insemination.
The researchers found the brains of the trained mice and their offspring showed structural changes in areas used to detect the odor. The DNA of the animals also carried chemical changes, known as epigenetic methylation, on the gene responsible for detecting the odor. This suggests that experiences are somehow transferred from the brain into the genome, allowing them to be passed on to later generations.
The researchers now hope to carry out further work to understand how the information comes to be stored on the DNA in the first place.
They also want to explore whether similar effects can be seen in the genes of humans.
Prof. Marcus Pembrey, a paediatric geneticist at University College London, said the work provided "compelling evidence" for the biological transmission of memory. He added: "It addresses constitutional fearfulness that is highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders, plus the controversial subject of transmission of the ‘memory’ of ancestral experience down the generations.
"It is high time public health researchers took human transgenerational responses seriously. "I suspect we will not understand the rise in neuropsychiatric disorders or obesity, diabetes and metabolic disruptions generally without taking a multigenerational approach.”
Prof. Wolf Reik, head of epigenetics at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, said, however, further work was needed before such results could be applied to humans. He said: "These types of results are encouraging as they suggest that transgenerational inheritance exists and is mediated by epigenetics, but more careful mechanistic study of animal models is needed before extrapolating such findings to humans.”
Another study in mice has shown that their ability to remember can be effected by the presence of immune system factors in their mother's milk. Dr Miklos Toth, from Cornell University in New York, found that chemokines carried in a mother's milk caused changes in the brains of their offspring, affecting their memory in later life.
Developments in genetic engineering make it possible to 're-programme' the human immune system so that T cells - white blood cells that normally fight viruses - recognize and kill cancer cells. This approach, which directly harnesses the potency of the immune system, holds the prospect of a powerful new weapon in the fight against cancer.
You may fantasized about your dream wheelchair but these wheelchairs are real one-off and tricked out wheelchairs that make dreams come true. The post One Off And Tricked Out Wheelchairs appeared first on Wheelchair Diffusion.
Travelling has always been a big part of my life. So it is no wonder, that after leaving the hospital in February 2012 I started thinking about it almost straight away. How would I travel now being using a wheelchair?
So much preparation is required that getting out of the house, reaching your destination successfully and still managing to have a good time could be considered a small miracle. Some places make it a lot easier.
This splendid example of a tracked all terrain wheelchair is not a wheelchair at all it's merely a people mover designed for the outdoors and fun. The post The Ziesel Tracked All Terrain Wheelchair Wannabe appeared first on Wheelchair Diffusion.
Rapid advances in technology are hastening the spread of new, motion-based treatments for people paralyzed by spinal-cord injuries, raising their hopes of moving in ways they never dreamed would be possible again.
The permanent prosthetic design could eliminate the current socket technology that can be painful and tiring. Dr. Hugate said he thinks a permanent prosthetic could restore function to nearly normal, especially for young active people.