Showing results 1-10 of 107 for 'brain'
The Weizmann Institute’s diverse, creative autism research is exemplified by three recent projects: investigating the immune system-brain development connection, using optogenetics to turn autistic behaviors on and off, and determining the causes of social shyness.
Israel21c reports on research by optogenetics pioneer Dr. Ofer Yizhar. Working with Weizmann colleague Prof. Rony Paz and others, Dr. Yizhar showed that weakening the communication between two parts of the brain reduced fear levels in mice. “This new technique may one day help extinguish traumatic memories in humans – for example, in people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.”
In Issue No. 47 of Weizmann Views, serendipity leads Dr. Ofer Yizhar to his life’s work: pioneering the remarkable new field of optogenetics. Optogenetics combines optics – the branch of physics concerned with light – and genetics to offer previously unimaginable new ways of studying the brain. Dr. Yizhar's work has particular import for the understanding of autism.
Dr. Ofer Yizhar, optogenetics pioneer, has used the tools of that field to successfully shut down a neuronal mechanism that helps form fearful memories in the mouse brain. After the procedure, the mice “forgot” that they had been previously frightened. This research, conducted with Prof. Rony Paz, may someday help extinguish traumatic memories in people.
WeizmannViews Issue No. 46 is about the research of new young scientist Dr. Rina Rosenzweig. She is expert in using super-powerful NMR machines, applying these skills to her studies of misfolded proteins and the clumps they form. These protein “aggregates” are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s.
The lab of Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky revealed that brain cells can guide us to our destination, even when we can’t see it. Scientific American’s Moheb Costandi reports on the research in Salon, also addressing related findings from other institutions and the question of whether the Ulanovsky cells are new types of cells, or represent more flexibility in other cells than previously suspected.
Bats - and humans - can find their favorite fruit stand (or coffee shop) even when it’s hidden behind a screen or buildings. How? Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky and team have now identified the neurons that point bats in the right direction, even when their destination is obscured. This could shed light on Alzheimer’s and other disorders.
Prof. Michal Schwartz's groundbreaking research on neuroimmunology changed the way scientists and clinicians view the interaction between the immune system and the brain. The Scientist provides in-depth reporting on what neuroimmunology is, how it works, and why it is so important.
What makes us reluctant or willing to leave our social comfort zones? Prof. Alon Chen and his team in the Department of Neurobiology found that a molecule that helps the brain cope with stress appeared to act as a “social switch” in mice, causing them to either increase interactions with “friends” or seek to meet “strangers.” Since a similar system exists in the human brain, the findings may help explain why some people are better at making new friends, and shed light on the social difficulties experienced by those with autism, schizophrenia, and more.