Although hallucinogenic drugs have been studied for decades, little is known about the underlying mechanisms in the brain by which they induce their effects. A paper publishing September 17 in the journal Cell reveals the first X-ray crystallography structure of LSD bound to its target in the brain, the serotonin receptor. The paper also includes the first cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of a prototypical hallucinogen coupled with the entire serotonin receptor complex.
University of Guelph researchers are the first to discover that adolescents react differently to e-cigarette vapour than adults.
The astrocytic glial cell has the unique ability to form scar tissue around damaged neurons. The presence of scar tissue is associated with inhibitory effects on the regrowth of mature neurons that are damaged by spinal cord injury. Recent evidence suggests, however, that these inhibitory effects are reversible, and in new work, Temple and Penn scientists show that astrocytic glial cells can in fact play a major role in facilitating neuron repair.
In 2018, Tian Lab at UC Davis Health developed dLight1, a single fluorescent protein-based biosensor. This sensor allows high resolution, real-time imaging of the spatial and temporal release of dopamine in live animals. Now, the team expanded the color spectrum of dLight1 to YdLight1 and RdLight1. The increased light penetration and imaging depth of these variants provide enhanced dopamine signal quality allowing researchers to optically dissect dopamine's release and model its effects on neural circuits.
Scientists at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, show that it is possible to distinguish between left-handed and right-handed people by noninvasively monitoring just their brain activity during passive tactile stimulation. These results are key in haptic research (the study of sensory systems) and have various important implications for brain-computer interfaces, augmented reality, and even artificial intelligence.
This study selected the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) as a model animal for the fetal transfer of OH-PCBs in humans, and revealed OH-PCB concentrations and their relationships in the maternal and fetal brains. The key finding from this study is that OH-PCBs can reach the developing brain of the fetus as early as the first trimester of pregnancy. These OH-PCBs may exceed the levels that induce adverse effects on neurodevelopment.
Penn Medicine researchers have solved a decades old mystery around a key molecule fueling the power plant of cells that could be exploited to find new ways to treat diseases, from neurodegenerative disorders to cancer.
Now more than ever, Americans and people all over the world are under increased stress, which may adversely affect their health and well-being. Researchers explore the possibility that mindfulness with paced breathing reduces blood pressure. One of the most plausible mechanisms is that paced breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system, which reduce stress chemicals in the brain and increase vascular relaxation that may lead to lowering of blood pressure.
New research from Oregon Health & Science University for the first time documents the presence of astrocytes in zebrafish, a milestone that will open new avenues of research into a star-shaped type of glial cell in the brain that is critical for nearly every aspect of brain assembly and function.
A University of Houston researcher is reporting that the brains of older women with Type 2 diabetes do not use as much oxygenated blood as those who don't have the disease. The research is the first to point to changes in blood use in the brain as the primary reason for diabetes-related deficits in motor function.