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Posted on Sunday, May 27 - 2007

Could magnets make the mind grow stronger? In mice at least, stimulating the brain with a magnetic coil appears to promote the growth of new neurons in areas associated with learning and memory. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it might open up new ways of treating age-related memory decline and diseases like Alzheimer's.Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used experimentally to treat a range of brain disorders, including depression and schizophrenia, and torehabilitate people after a stroke.

TMS uses a magnetic coil to induce electric fields in the brain tissue - activating or deactivating groups of neurons, although the exact mechanism has remained unknown. One theory was that it aided learning and memory by strengthening brain circuits through a process called long-term potentiation (LTP).To investigate, Fortunato Battaglia at the City University of New York and his colleagues gave mice TMS for five days, then analysed their brains for evidence of LTP or cell proliferation.They confirmed that TMS enhanced LTP in all areas of the braintested, by modifying key glutamate receptors so that they stayed active for longer. The team also saw large increases in the proliferation of stem cells in the dentate gyrus hippocampus. These cells divide throughout life and are now believed to play a crucial role in memory and mood regulation.

View: Full Article | Source: New Scientist

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Scientists: earth barely supports life

If earth had been slightly smaller and less massive, life might never have gained a foothold. They key to life on Earth as we know it, scientists figure, is plate tectonics the forces that move continents and build mountains. And the more massive a world is, the thinner its plates are. Thinner plates are weaker and more easily moved and so able to support the kinds of crucial planet-shaping plate tectonics experienced on this planet over the billions of years that life evolved from simple one-...

Last ice age happened in less than a year

The last ice age 13,000 years ago took hold in just one year, more than ten times quicker than previously believed, scientists have warned. Rather than a gradual cooling over a decade, the ice age plunged Europe into the deep freeze, German Research Centre for Geosciences at Potsdam said. Cold, stormy conditions causedby an abrupt shift in atmospheric circulation froze the continent almost instantly during the Younger Dryas less than 13,000 years ago a very recent period on a geological scale....

Scientists claim dark matter discovery

Dark matter is thought to account for three-quarters of the matter in the universe but to date has never been directly observed. Now scientists are claiming a breakthrough discovery ofactual dark matter in a mine half a mile underground."For 80 years, it haseluded the finest minds in science. . But tonight it appeared that the hunt may be over for dark matter, the mysterious and invisible substance that accounts for three-quart...

Sci-fi weapons from tomorrow, today

A run down of seven futuristic weapons that have passed squarely in to the realms of reality.From rail guns to automated robots, these weapon systems were once seen only in science fiction but are now very much a reality. This article takes a look at seven of the most interesting futuristic weapons of today. Lifehas been imitating art with a vengeance lately in the field of weaponry. A number of weaponsand weapons systems now on active duty or in the prototype stage seem to have been r...

Worlds oldest known DNA discovered

The oldest intact DNA ever found has been discovered inside salt deposits and belongs to a type of salt-loving bacteria that existed 419 million years ago making them some of the earliest life forms on Earth."Itwon"t make Jurassic Park a reality, but scientists have discovered 419 million-year-old DNAintact inside ancient salt deposits. . The genetic material, the oldest ever found, belongs to salt-loving bacteria whose ancesto...

Japan to put humanoid robot on moon by 2015 ?

A new proposal by several Japanese companies is aiming to put an android on the moon within just 5 years.The robot named Maido-kun is hoping to hitch a ride on a planned mission to the moon by the Japanese space agency, once there it will walk around on the surface and draw the Japanese flag on the ground in the dust. A humanoidrobot could be walking on the moon and drawing the Japanese flag on its surface by 2015, according to a plan proposed by a groupof Japanese companies. . Exp...

The higher you are, the faster you age

Extremely precise timepieces have been used to prove that you age faster the higher off the ground you are.New research has shown that if you lived your life on the second floor of a building you would age faster by 900 billionths of a second. Its not much, but for the first time scientists have been able to actually demonstrate that there is a difference. Researchers havedemonstrated one of Einstein"s theories of relativity - that the further away from the Earth you are, the faster tim...

Worlds first bionic fingers unveiled

Scientists at Livingston based Touch Bionics have unveiled the ProDigits, the world's first bionic fingers. It is hoped that the motor-powered digits will transform the lives of peoplewho have missing fingers. "Experts have unveiled what they claim are theworld's first bionic fingers which they hope will transform the lives of people with missing digits. . The motor-powered ProDigits have been developed by Touch Bionic...

Hadron Collider on verge of breakthrough ?

Scientists appear to have recreated in part the level of matter that existed at the beginning of the universe. Scientists are said to be "very excited" by the results which possibly constitute the Large Hadron Collider"s first major breakthrough, technicians are also pleased that the system is starting to deliverresults after its sketchy start. Scientists say colliding particles seem to be creating "hotdense matter" that would have existed microseconds after the Big Bang and might hold...

Is graphene the new silicon?

Pioneers of a new material believe it could have the same applications as silicon.Although it"s been touted as the next big thing by the Nobel prize winning pioneers of graphene, somescientists believe it might not replace silicon as readily as some would have us believing. Graphene has been touted as the "miracle material" of the 21st Century. Said to be the strongest material evermeasured, an improvement upon and a replacement for silicon and the most conductive material kno...


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