Author Topic: All things brain...  (Read 5137 times)

Arturo

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #105 on: May 31, 2018, 01:28:00 PM »
Cannabis has some link to schizophrenia. However there was some place in Europe I believe where cannabis use was very common but the rate of schizophrenia did not increase. Some people took that as an all out conclusion (a problem I think too many people have with more than just smoking weed) that cannabis doesn't cause mental illness, and that whoever gets ill after smoking weed was actually fucked up before they ever smoked any weed.

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Recusant

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #106 on: June 03, 2018, 11:35:34 AM »
Instead of adding this to the "Homo sapiens and Their Cousins" thread, I decided to put it here.

"Meet NOTCH2NL, the human-specific genes that may have given us our big brains" | ScienceDaily

Quote
The evolution of larger brains in the last 3 million years played an important role in our ability as a species to think, problem-solve, and develop culture. But the genetic changes behind the expansion that made us human have been elusive. In a pair of papers publishing May 31 in Cell, two teams of researchers identify a gene family, NOTCH2NL, that appears to play an important role in human-specific cortex development and may have been a driving force in the evolution of our large brains. NOTCH2NL genes delay the differentiation of cortical stem cells into neurons, resulting in the production of more neurons across the course of development. The genes are found exclusively in humans, are heavily expressed in neural stem cells of the human cerebral cortex, and are located on a part of the genome implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders.

"Our brains got three times as big primarily through the expansion of certain functional areas of the cerebral cortex, and that has to be a fundamental substrate for us becoming human. There's really no more exciting scientific question that I can think of than discovering and decoding the mysterious genetic changes that made us who we are," says David Haussler, co-senior author of one of the papers and a bioinformatician at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

[Continues . . .]

The excellent science writer Ed Yong also has a write-up on this finding. I noticed that this team used the same technique as the one that is attempting to study Neanderthal brains:

"A New Genetic Clue to How Humans Got Such Big Brains" | The Atlantic

Quote
It started with some blobs of brain-like tissue, growing in a dish.

Frank Jacobs, then at the University of California at Santa Cruz, had taken stem cells from humans and monkeys, and coaxed them into forming small balls of neurons. These “organoids” mirror the early stages of brain development. By studying them, Jacobs could look for genes that are switched on more strongly in the growing brains of humans than in those of monkeys. And when he presented his data to his colleagues at a lab meeting, one gene grabbed everyone’s attention.

“There was a gene called NOTCH2NL that was screaming in humans and off in [the monkeys],” says Sofie Salama, who co-directs the Santa Cruz team with David Haussler. “What the hell is NOTCH2NL? None of us had ever heard of it.”

The team ultimately learned that NOTCH2NL appears to be inactive in monkeys because it doesn’t exist in monkeys. It’s unique to humans, and it likely controls the number of neurons we make as embryos. It’s one of a growing list of human-only genes that could help explain why our brains are so much bigger than those of other apes.

[Continues . . .]
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Arturo

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #107 on: June 03, 2018, 04:56:40 PM »
This seems familiar...did Dave post this somewhere already?

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Dave

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #108 on: June 03, 2018, 04:57:33 PM »
This seems familiar...did Dave post this somewhere already?

Not to my memory!

But then, knowing my nemory . . .
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Arturo

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #109 on: June 03, 2018, 05:05:34 PM »
^And my memory too!

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xSilverPhinx

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #110 on: June 04, 2018, 02:24:58 AM »
Instead of adding this to the "Homo sapiens and Their Cousins" thread, I decided to put it here.

"Meet NOTCH2NL, the human-specific genes that may have given us our big brains" | ScienceDaily

Quote
The evolution of larger brains in the last 3 million years played an important role in our ability as a species to think, problem-solve, and develop culture. But the genetic changes behind the expansion that made us human have been elusive. In a pair of papers publishing May 31 in Cell, two teams of researchers identify a gene family, NOTCH2NL, that appears to play an important role in human-specific cortex development and may have been a driving force in the evolution of our large brains. NOTCH2NL genes delay the differentiation of cortical stem cells into neurons, resulting in the production of more neurons across the course of development. The genes are found exclusively in humans, are heavily expressed in neural stem cells of the human cerebral cortex, and are located on a part of the genome implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders.

"Our brains got three times as big primarily through the expansion of certain functional areas of the cerebral cortex, and that has to be a fundamental substrate for us becoming human. There's really no more exciting scientific question that I can think of than discovering and decoding the mysterious genetic changes that made us who we are," says David Haussler, co-senior author of one of the papers and a bioinformatician at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

[Continues . . .]

The excellent science writer Ed Yong also has a write-up on this finding. I noticed that this team used the same technique as the one that is attempting to study Neanderthal brains:

"A New Genetic Clue to How Humans Got Such Big Brains" | The Atlantic

Quote
It started with some blobs of brain-like tissue, growing in a dish.

Frank Jacobs, then at the University of California at Santa Cruz, had taken stem cells from humans and monkeys, and coaxed them into forming small balls of neurons. These “organoids” mirror the early stages of brain development. By studying them, Jacobs could look for genes that are switched on more strongly in the growing brains of humans than in those of monkeys. And when he presented his data to his colleagues at a lab meeting, one gene grabbed everyone’s attention.

“There was a gene called NOTCH2NL that was screaming in humans and off in [the monkeys],” says Sofie Salama, who co-directs the Santa Cruz team with David Haussler. “What the hell is NOTCH2NL? None of us had ever heard of it.”

The team ultimately learned that NOTCH2NL appears to be inactive in monkeys because it doesn’t exist in monkeys. It’s unique to humans, and it likely controls the number of neurons we make as embryos. It’s one of a growing list of human-only genes that could help explain why our brains are so much bigger than those of other apes.

[Continues . . .]

Very interesting! Thanks, Recusant!
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Dave

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #111 on: July 11, 2018, 06:49:00 PM »
Summat funny going on 'ere (again) with Youtube.
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Dave

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #112 on: July 11, 2018, 06:50:33 PM »
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 06:59:08 PM by Tank »
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Dave

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #113 on: July 27, 2018, 09:10:11 PM »
This is more psychology/philosophy but, what the heck! Still brain stuff.

Do you accept advice easily? Need a nudge? What makes a scout bee different from a worker? Are you curious about these things?

This edition of "Crowd Science" explores these things.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswvww

Quote
Why does history repeat itself?

Teenagers are known for ignoring their parents’ advice, but is this reputation for rebellion well-founded? If so, is rejecting the advice of previous generations and treading our own path an important part of what it means to be human? Are we successful as a species precisely because of our questioning natures?

Listener Hans started pondering these questions after his own adolescent children repeatedly ignored his nagging. Many animals simply follow in their parents’ footsteps – so what makes human children different?

Marnie Chesterton and a panel of experts look at the science of taking advice and making decisions, finding out how human curiosity and exploration compare to other animals, learning the best ways to give and take advice, and seeing whether we’re more likely to trust artificial intelligence than the wisdom of our elders. Finally, we give listener Hans some expert advice on whether or not to keep nagging his kids.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 09:26:21 PM by Dave »
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #114 on: July 28, 2018, 09:23:35 PM »
^ I would very much like to listen to that, but the link you posted takes me to BBC Sports and an unrelated podcast.   :-\
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Dave

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #115 on: July 28, 2018, 09:27:53 PM »
^ I would very much like to listen to that, but the link you posted takes me to BBC Sports and an unrelated podcast.   :-\

It did that to me at first, thought that I had got the right link. This one works (well, it did when I tried it!)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswvww
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #116 on: July 28, 2018, 09:32:20 PM »
^ I would very much like to listen to that, but the link you posted takes me to BBC Sports and an unrelated podcast.   :-\

It did that to me at first, thought that I had got the right link. This one works (well, it did when I tried it!)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswvww

Perfect! Thanks, Dave!  ;D
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Icarus

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #117 on: July 28, 2018, 10:35:12 PM »
August edition of National Geographic has a lengthy article about how sleep, or lack of it, influences some of our essential brain functions. It deals with circadian rhythms as well.  :count sheep:

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #118 on: August 15, 2018, 09:15:13 PM »
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Dave

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Re: All things brain...
« Reply #119 on: August 16, 2018, 06:02:40 AM »
PET scans for dopamine  reactions in the brain may help to predict whether or not antipsychotics will be efficacious in treating schizophrenia. Since antipsychotics can have debilitating side effecrs, and more than one msy be prescribed on a "suck-it-and-see" basis over a long period, this sounds like good news!

[...]
PET and SPECT imaging has been used to investigate dopaminergic parameters in schizophrenia, beginning with studies of D2/3 receptors14, 15 and later covering presynaptic function, including dopamine synthesis capacity and dopamine release, and transporters.
[...]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3730746/

« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 06:12:41 AM by Dave »
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