University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ Category


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Neuroscientist conducts deep study of a brain, his own

Early this Tuesday morning, and every Tuesday morning through November 2013, neuroscientist Russell Poldrack will wake up, take off his headband-like sleep monitor, and tell it to wirelessly send data about his night’s sleep to a database.

Then he’ll log in to a survey app on his computer, and provide a subjective report on how well he slept, whether he’s sore, and what his blood pressure and pulse rate are. He’ll step on a scale, which will send his weight and
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Silver Tsunami brings crest of Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s called the “Silver Tsunami” – the swelling number of baby boomers surpassing age 65. As medical advancements extend their lives, they’re expected to live well into their 80s and 90s – outlasting any generation in American history.

But among Americans over 80 – who represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population – half are debilitated with a neurodegenerative disorder. Of this group, 5.4 million now have Alzheimer’s Disease. By year 2050, that number is expected to balloon to
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Research Round Up Fall 2011: New planets, a bigger black hole, more effective solar cells and more

It seems that the only time astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin took a break from finding new planets and bigger black holes during the fall 2011 semester was when university geologists edged in with evidence of a lake under the surface of Saturn’s moon, Europa.

As busy as those researchers were, the semester also brought discoveries in green energy, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, concealed handguns and the relationship between children’s happiness and their parents.

Here’s a look at
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Texas collaboration started with lunch in Wisconsin

Adela Ben-Yakar, an engineering professor, and Jon Pierce-Shimomura, a neurobiology professor, have teamed up develop technology to test drugs for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

Adela Ben-Yakar, an engineering professor, and Jon Pierce-Shimomura, a neurobiology professor, have teamed up to develop technology to test drugs for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Scientific collaborations across disciplines can be great when they happen.

Researchers bring different skills, expertise and perspectives that can illuminate hard problems.

But just bringing different disciplines together can be a hard problem in itself, despite work being done by universities to break down the siloes that contain them.

So we wondered how Adela Ben-Yakar, a professor in the
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Engineer, biologist team up to reverse aging

Cockrell School of Engineering Associate Professor Adela Ben-Yakar and College of Natural Sciences Assistant Professor Jon Pierce-Shimomura received a competitive $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund research that aims to prevent degeneration of the nervous system, which occurs through natural aging and diseases like Alzheimer's. Photo by Marsha Miller

Cockrell School of Engineering Associate Professor Adela Ben-Yakar and College of Natural Sciences Assistant Professor Jon Pierce-Shimomura received a competitive $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund research that aims to prevent degeneration of the nervous system, which occurs through natural aging and diseases like Alzheimer’s. Photo by Marsha Miller

This article originally appeared on the Cockrell School of Engineering Web site. It was written by Melissa Mixon.

Technology developed by researchers at The University of
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Research Roundup Spring 2011: Black holes, subsurface fjords, early mammal brains and more

In the last few months, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin dealt with black holes, dead zones and ice kilometers under the surface of Antarctica.

They found that early mammals evolved bigger brains for the sense of smell. They found that alcohol helps a brain to remember.

They made a carbon “sponge” that could store energy and a $1 biosensing diagnostic device that’s self-powered.

They found that teenagers who don’t fit in are less likely to go for higher education.

To help
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Your brain, on drugs, learns too much

Hitoshi Morikawa want to find ways to interfere with the brain's capability to "overlearn" drug-associated behavior.One of the most famous science experiments is the one involving Pavlov and his dog in which Ivan Pavlov conditioned the dog to salivate at the sound of a bell.

Addictive drugs affect the brain in a similar but more powerful way, says Hitoshi Morikawa, a neurobiologist in the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research.

“We think addiction is a form of pathological overlearning in which the brain remembers too much the association between certain environmental stimuli and drug-seeking or drug-taking
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When brain scans weigh in on body weight

Images from functional magnetic resonance imaging scans.

Images from functional magnetic resonance imaging scans.

The latest edition of Raw Science at the College of Natural Sciences website provides answers to the questions:

Can weight gain be predicted from looking at your brain with an fMRI?

Are “green” building materials more susceptible to destructive fungal growth?

It also dives into the genomes of radically different species in search of candidate genes for human diseases and tracks the lives of Pakistani paper wasps.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scientist and surgeon collaborating to find better ways to prevent, treat birth defects

Scientist John Wallingford, left, and surgeon Tim George are teaming up to develop ways to prevent and treat birth defects.

Scientist John Wallingford, left, and surgeon Tim George are teaming up.

John Wallingford and Tim George work at different ends of the biomedical-health-care spectrum.

Wallingford is a scientist doing basic research at The University of Texas at Austin. Using frogs and mice as models, he studies how embryos develop and what can go wrong in development.

George is a pediatric neuro-surgeon at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Among his patients are children with birth defects.

The scientist and the surgeon have teamed up to find
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I can hear you now

Nace Golding

Nace Golding

This story is from the College of Natural Sciences and was written by Daniel Oppenheimer.

The human ability to know roughly where in space a sound is coming from is so integral to our experience of the world that it’s basically invisible. A friend calls out our name, and we turn to the left, or turn to the right, and there they are.

Yet that ability, which seems so simple, not only depends on neurons in our brain that are exceptionally
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