Social Neuroscience Advances
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Social Neuroscience Advances
Understanding ourselves and how we interact
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The race is on to build the world’s first total-body PET scanner

The race is on to build the world’s first total-body PET scanner | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it

The easiest way to look inside the body is to do a quick CT scan. If you need something better, you can make a reservation for an injection of liquid metal contrast and a cage-rattling MRI. But if you need something more than a glimpse of the anatomy, an actual comparative look at which tissues are under-performing, and which are over-performing (as in cancer), you will probably need a PET scan.


Generating a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) image requires an injection with a modified version of some essential molecule in the particular metabolic pathway you want to examine. To see rapidly metabolizing tumors that might be taking up a lot of glucose, for example, you get a radioactive version of that sugar known as fluorodeoxyglucose. When this tracer is trapped in presumptive cancer cells, its positrons eventually decay and they fire off two gamma rays in exactly opposite directions. Scintillating crystals downshift the energy from those gammas into the optical range, which can then be converted into an electrical signal using an appropriate photodetector.


The secret to getting pixels or voxels out of all this is to gate your detectors for precise coincidence between the two opposed gammas. This requires speed — 300-picosecond speed. This timing accuracy then allows for the localization in 3D space of the point of origin for the initial decay.


The fundamental problem with current PET machines is that you are given a relatively massive tracer dose, but then you are scanned with a relatively narrow detector ring that slowly plods along collecting the gammas in mere 20-cm-width segments. For a large bore scanner, that’s a relatively small detector cross section compared with the full 360-degree spherical emission range.


What this means is that your body is emitting precious radioactive signal (precious in that you are paying for it with the initial absorbed dose), but the underpowered hardware is letting the bulk of it slip out the sides and go to waste. Stated another way, it is the patient that ultimately pays the price of a poorly matched tracer and detector — both in terms of how long they need to remained stuffed inside the machine, and how many times they can safely be subjected to the ordeal.


The solution to this problem, one now embraced by a collaborative effort funded by the DOE to the tune of $15.5 million, is to scan the whole body at once. Recognizing the aforementioned truths, several cooler heads have gotten together to provide for any and all that which industry alone has so far failed to deliver. The project sprang from an effort at Berkeley originally called OpenPET, which had the noble aim of opening and democratizing PET electronics. High-speed coincidence detectors are nothing new; they are the bread-and-butter of all sorts of high-energy physics mega-projects. For that matter, so is the scintillator and photodetector hardware. OpenPET has now evolved into the Explorer project, which will produce a PET machine with an unprecedented half-a-million detectors.


Via Gust MEES, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Gust MEES's curator insight, October 30, 2015 10:24 AM

A collaborative effort to build a whole-body PET imager of unprecedented scale has just been funded by the DOE to the tune of $15.5 million.


Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from 21st Century Innovative Technologies and Developments as also discoveries, curiosity ( insolite)...
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Scientists May Have Found A Way To Bring Back Memories Of Dementia Patients

Scientists May Have Found A Way To Bring Back Memories Of Dementia Patients | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
"Since our work shows we can reverse the processes that weaken synapses, we could potentially counteract some of the beta amyloid's effects of Alzheimer's."




The scientists found they could then re-activate the lost memory by re-stimulating the same nerves with a memory-forming, high-frequency train of optical pulses.


Via Gust MEES
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Gust MEES's curator insight, June 1, 2014 5:24 PM

The scientists found they could then re-activate the lost memory by re-stimulating the same nerves with a memory-forming, high-frequency train of optical pulses.


Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from #ALS AWARENESS #LouGehrigsDisease #PARKINSONS
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A New Wrinkle in Parkinson’s Disease Research

A New Wrinkle in Parkinson’s Disease Research | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Scientists have discovered that a drug in an over-the-counter skin cream slows or stops the effects of Parkinson’s disease on brain cells.

Via TEAM Mike Lopez Memorial Foundation |Find us on Twitter:@TEAMCUREALS
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Transparent optogenetic brain implants: Yet another amazing use for graphene

Transparent optogenetic brain implants: Yet another amazing use for graphene | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
The most powerful brain implants being built today can record fast electric signals using conductive arrays while permitting light to pass out through them for high-resolution imaging . To take it up a notch, they also can let light in for optogenetic control directly under the implant. Two new studies just published in Nature Communications have the details.


Learn more:


http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-innovative-technologies-and-developments/?tag=Graphene



Via Gust MEES
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Gust MEES's curator insight, October 26, 2014 7:05 PM
The most powerful brain implants being built today can record fast electric signals using conductive arrays while permitting light to pass out through them for high-resolution imaging . To take it up a notch, they also can let light in for optogenetic control directly under the implant. Two new studies just published in Nature Communications have the details.


Learn more:


http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-innovative-technologies-and-developments/?tag=Graphene


Rescooped by Jocelyn Stoller from 21st Century skills of critical and creative thinking
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The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
'The latest findings from the real neuroscience of creativity suggest that the right brain/left brain distinction is not the right one when it comes to understanding how creativity is implemented in the brain.

Via Beth Dichter, Lynnette Van Dyke
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Gary Faust's curator insight, August 30, 2013 8:53 PM

In experience creativity seems to be volitional not physiological, now there is some science to counteract this socially accepted point of view. 

Regis Elo's comment, September 18, 2013 7:01 PM
Sorry again for the delay.thankx for your comments. I add that it seems coherent to agree with both of you Kathy and Louise , inclueing the possibility to care about the individual self-consciousness and empathy as a specific human condition to be eternally unsatisfied WITHOUT SPIRITUALITY?....IT'S BEYOND! i guess
Saberes Sin Fronteras OVS's comment, September 19, 2013 1:18 PM
Thanks for the comments.
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Creative right brain myth debunked | KurzweilAI

Creative right brain myth debunked | KurzweilAI | Social Neuroscience Advances | Scoop.it
Yet another brain myth bites the dust, joining we only use 10 percent of our brain, and other pseudoscience nonsense that tries to cram people in nice neat boxes. 

 

The left hemisphere of your brain, thought to be the logic and math portion, actually plays a critical role in creative thinking, University of Southern California (USC) researchers have found, at least for visual creative tasks (and musical, as previously found)...


Via Gust MEES
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