brain

Tag archives for brain

No joke. George (the goldfish) had developed a rather large tumor over the past year and the owners loved the fish so much, they spent $200 to have the life-threatening tumor surgically removed:

Researchers at Duke University are interested in understanding the metamorphosis of fruit flies from larvae to adult stage in an effort to understand how the insects grow new nerve endings as they undergo this transition. What is interesting is that the flies lose neurons they will not need as an adult and will grow new…

Cure to fear of cats discovered

…for rodents and men at least. A team of researchers at UC Berkeley have discovered that mice infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii lose their innate fear of cats, even months after the infection is cleared. In fact, infected mice were mildly attracted to the odor of cats. This side effect likely evolved because the parasite…

Researchers Tal Shomrat and Michael Levin at Tufts University have found that planaria worms are able to quickly relearn lost skills after literally losing their heads.  The researchers trained the worms to find food in an environment with bright light and open space, both considered uncomfortable to the creatures. The time it took for worms to adjust to the environment…

A drug currently used to treat colon cancer in people successfully treated a type of brain tumor, called a glioma, in a dog named “Petey”. After removing the tumor, Dr. Simon Platt administered the drug to the brain where it prevented the tumor from returning. The next step is to conduct a larger study that…

Dogs, like people, are susceptible to a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) known as canine compulsive disorder (CCD). In fact, the news story at the end of this blog describes CCD and also discusses a form of OCD in Siamese and Persian cats that is related to stress. A prior study suggested that dogs…

Jell-O Brains

I have to admit I love the science section of The New York Times. The topic today: Dr. Karl Deisseroth and colleagues at Stanford University have developed a technique called CLARITY that uses hydrogel to make the brain look like it is made of Jell-O. They have successfully applied this technique to a whole mouse brain as well as part of…

You may recall a prior post in which I talked about how intelligent crows are. In fact, there was a special on PBS demonstrating their ability to solve problems and even recognize human faces (HIGHLY recommended if you haven’t yet had a chance to see it): Watch A Murder of Crows on PBS. See more from Nature. In a…

Studies of guppies show that bigger brains may mean “smarter” fish, but less offspring. Credit: Marrabbio2/Creative Commons   …at least for guppies. Dr. Alexander Kotrschal and colleagues at Uppsala University (Sweden) either shrank or grew the brains of guppies over multiple generations to create animals with up to 8-10% variations in brain size. To test for “smartness” they had…

Scientists have been able to restore locomotion in paralyzed rats using a combination of nerve stimulation and engaging the mind by having the rats complete simple tasks (like obtaining treats).  In the newly published research, Dr. Grégroire Courtine (University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and his team created a rat model of spinal…