Заставь голову варить лучше!

Советики - как заставить мозг работать эффективней:
1. Time it right
Most older people think more clearly in the morning; most younger people, in the afternoon. Work out when your own best 'thinking time' is and set it aside it for your most challenging brain work.

2. Get a good education - but don't overdo it
Psychologist Dean Keith Simonton says that too much specialised higher education can damage your ability to think creatively. 'You don't become a great novelist by getting a PhD in creative writing.'

3. Listen to Confucius
Writing things down is the number one memory aid used by memory researchers themselves. As the Chinese proverb puts it, the weakest ink lasts longer than the best memory.

4. Kick start your day
Research shows that the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can help you concentrate. But if you're prone to anxiety, you're probably better off avoiding it.

5. Anchor new memories to established ones
'Think of your existing memory as a scaffold upon which to fit new information,' says cognitive researcher Denise Park. 'Don't isolate new information. Always relate it to something.'

6. Practise, practise, practise
Learning and repeatedly practising new skills appears to change the brain's internal organisation. A study showed that periodic training sessions helped volunteers in their 70s perform better in cognitive and memory tasks than they had when they were seven years younger. 'Practice really helps,' says psychologist Len Giambra. 'A well-practised older person will be faster than an unpractised younger person.'

7. Give your ideas a chance
Many of us are rewarded for our abilities to rapidly evaluate facts and make quick decisions. Creativity demands a much more leisurely and playful approach - a willingness to give 'absurd' ideas a chance.

8. Pick a stimulating profession and an intelligent partner
Intriguing studies from Poland suggest that people whose careers demand they exercise their intellect are more likely to sustain high levels of mental performance during their lives. Marrying someone intelligent may also provide you with ongoing stimulation.

9. Expose yourself to multiple experiences
Creativity often boils down to the ability to adapt solutions from one aspect of life to another. Velcro for instance, was inspired by burrs that stick to your clothing. The 'ring-pull' top on cans was originally based on the way a banana is peeled.

10. Learn from Leonardo
In his book, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, author Michael Gelb offers several brain-enriching strategies that worked for the ultimate Renaissance man. Among them: learning to juggle and drawing with your non-writing hand.

by: Mendim


Клетки кожи могут думать?

Феерические новости - клетки кожи генерируют сигналы и очень странно себя ведут. Подробный анализ этого интереснейшего предположения предлагаю рассмотреть, спасибо Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney, который написал статью у себя в блоге http://scienceblogs.com/deanscorner/2011/05/could_skin_cells_think.php:

Figure 4: Synaptic responses of HFF-iN cells.

There seems to be a brain-centric theme emerging this week in groundbreaking science. Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have reported in Nature the first example of transforming human skin cells into functional nerve cells. Could skin cells someday be able to "think"? Could they be used to create a biological computer or in regenerative medicine?

How did they do it? Excerpted, and revised for clarity, from their Abstract: {my comments in italics}

Somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion, or expression of lineage-specific factors have been shown to induce cell-fate changes in a variety of cell types. We recently observed that forced expression of a combination of three transcription factors {factors that affect how genes become expressed} can efficiently convert mouse fibroblasts into functional induced neuronal (iN) cells13. Here we show that the same three factors can generate functional neurons from human pluripotent stem cells as early as 6 days after transgene activation. Importantly, the vast majority of human iN cells were able to generate action potentials and many matured to receive synaptic contacts when co-cultured with primary mouse cortical neurons. Our data demonstrate that non-neural human somatic cells, as well as pluripotent stem cells, can be converted directly into neurons by lineage-determining transcription factors. These methods may facilitate robust generation of patient-specific human neurons for in vitro disease modelling or future applications in regenerative medicine.

Their conclusions:

In this report, we have identified a combination of transcription factors that are capable of converting human fibroblasts directly into neurons. Like mouse iN cells13 and neurons derived from ES cells19, 20, 21 and iPS cells22, 23, the human iN cells seem relatively immature, as indicated by their slightly depolarized membrane potentials and the relatively low-amplitude synaptic responses. Compared to mouse iN cells, human iN cells required longer culture periods to develop synaptic activity. Future studies will be necessary to thoroughly optimize conditions for human iN cell generation and maturation, which would facilitate applications of this method for the study of human neuronal development and disease.

This is, yet another, amazing example of a creative use of biological techniques to generate something thought to be impossible in the past - transforming a common skin cell into a functioning neuron!

Обновился дизайн блога

Дорогие читатели, обратите внимание - старый порядком надоевший тяжёлый фиолетовый дизайн превращён в нечто более воздушное. Надеюсь, вам тоже нравится! :)

Антидепрессанты и диабет

Привычные антидепрессанты в некоторых комбинациях приводят к развитию диабета! Читаем подробнее на:
Common drug combo increases diabetes risk - health - 26 May 2011 - New Scientist


Юмороват с функциями

Баян, да. Но хороший:



Статья из журнала http://scienceblog.com/ о Плацебо :
They may be uncomfortable talking about it, but it’s definitely going on.
A recent survey, led by McGill Psychiatry Professor and Senior Lady Davis Institute Researcher Amir Raz, reports that one in five respondents – physicians and psychiatrists in Canadian medical schools – have administered or prescribed a placebo. Moreover, an even higher proportion of psychiatrists (more than 35 per cent) reported prescribing subtherapeutic doses of medication (that is, doses that are below, sometimes considerably below, the minimal recommended therapeutic level) to treat their patients.
Prescribing pseudoplacebos – that is treatments that are active in principle, but that are unlikely to be effective for the condition being treated, e.g., using vitamins to treat chronic insomnia – is more widespread than we may have thought according to the survey. Dr. Raz and his colleagues suggest that this may be because physicians have shown themselves to be more prepared to prescribe biochemically active materials even though at lower doses than might be effective.
The survey, which was also designed to explore attitudes toward placebo use, found that the majority of responding psychiatrists (more than 60 per cent) believe that placebos can have therapeutic effects. This is a significantly higher proportion than for other medical practitioners. “Psychiatrists seem to place more value in the influence placebos wield on the mind and body,” says Raz. Only 2 per cent of those psychiatrists believe that placebos have no clinical benefit at all.
Raz’s own interest in placebos grew out of his work in three very different areas: his explorations into how people’s physiology is influenced by their expectations of what is about to happen, his work on deception; and the time he spent as a former magician. Together, these three separate areas of experience have led Raz to explore what remains an uncomfortable hinterland of medical practice for many practitioners – the use of placebos in medicine.
“While most physicians probably appreciate the clinical merits of placebos, limited guidelines and scientific knowledge, as well as ethical considerations, impede open discussion about the best way we may want re-introduce placebos into the medical milieu,” says Raz. He adds, “This survey provides a valuable starting point for further investigations into Canadian physicians’ attitudes towards and use of placebos.”


Допаминово-серотониновые новости :)

Пабмед принёс новую пачку статей о допаминергической и серотонинергической системах:

Neuropharmacology. 2011 Apr 12.
Enhanced effects of amphetamine but reduced effects of the hallucinogen, 5-MeO-DMT, on locomotor activity in 5-HT(1A) receptor knockout mice: Implications for schizophrenia.

van den Buuse M, Ruimschotel E, Martin S, Risbrough VB, Halberstadt AL.

Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory, Mental Health Research Institute, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Neuropharmacology. 2011 Apr 15.
Possible involvement of serotonin 5-HT2 receptor in the regulation of feeding behavior through the histaminergic system.

Murotani T, Ishizuka T, Isogawa Y, Karashima M, Yamatodani A.

Department of Medical Science and Technology, Division of Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 1-7 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

Neuropharmacology. 2011 Apr 17.
Differential effects of cocaine and MDMA self-administration on cortical serotonin transporter availability in monkeys.

Gould RW, Gage HD, Banks ML, Blaylock BL, Czoty PW, Nader MA.

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.

Neuropharmacology. 2011 Apr 19.
Dopamine-related drugs act presynaptically to potentiate GABA(A) receptor currents in VTA dopamine neurons.

Michaeli A, Yaka R.

Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.

Neuropharmacology. 2011 Apr 7.
High concentrations of MDMA ('ecstasy') and its metabolite MDA inhibit calcium influx and depolarization-evoked vesicular dopamine release in PC12 cells.

Hondebrink L, Meulenbelt J, Meijer M, van den Berg M, Westerink RH.

Neurotoxicology Research Group, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.177, NL-3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands; National Poisons Information Centre (NVIC), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, NL-3720 BA, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


Кое-что новое о парацетамоле

Ацетаминофен, он же - парацетамол, при передозировке может приводить к разным последствиям. Этот, казалось бы безопасный и популярный препарат может способствовать развитию заболеваний печени.

Acetaminophen Overdose May Be Painkiller Confusion