New Cerebrum Podcast: The Human Connectome Project

In our September Cerebrum article, “The Human Connectome Project: Progress and Prospects,” David Van Essen, Ph.D., and Matthew Glasser, Ph.D., write about an ambitious six-year collaboration between neuroscientists at various institutions to map the brain with the help of 1,200 volunteers and ever evolving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. In this new podcast, the pair discuss their role, some of the unexpected surprises, and what they hope to discover in the project’s next phase.

Malaria Treatment Shows Promise

This week, the Journal of Clinical Investigation published a study that addresses cerebral malaria, an illness that affects one percent of the 216 million people diagnosed with malaria globally each year. Led by neuroscientist Ana Rodriguez, Ph.D., the study was partially funded by a three-year grant from the Dana Foundation in 2009, as part of the now discontinued Neuroimmunology program.

Rodriguez and her team at NYU Langone Medical Center found that by combining the standard treatment of malaria (a drug called chloroquine) with two different types of drugs used to treat hypertension, the survival rate of infected mice more than tripled.

In an article highlighting the study, Rodriguez says:

About one in five patients with cerebral malaria die within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital, and the time it takes for the parasite-killing drug to take effect…If we could add a drug that stopped hemorrhages during that window, it would buy time and save lives.

To read the press release detailing this study, click here.

– Seimi Rurup

Brain Awareness Week 2017: How About a Science Café?

If you haven’t started thinking about Brain Awareness Week (BAW) 2017 (or even if you have), brainstorming for your event(s) is a good way to get cracking on your BAW Celebrate BAW Image_Squareplans. Types of events during BAW vary greatly, targeting many different audiences and covering a large range of topics. From laboratory visits for elementary students to symposiums for college students to concerts for all ages, BAW has it all!

One event type to consider are science cafés: “events that take place in causal settings such as pubs and coffeehouses, are open to everyone, and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist about a particular topic.” They encourage a dialogue between scientists and the public and are a uniquely informal and fun way to not only disseminate scientific knowledge, but also discuss it.

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Moving Toward a Healthy Brain

Last week, experts Arthur Kramer, Jim Koenig, and Sarah M. Ingersoll gathered in DC for a Capitol Hill briefing on physical exercise and its effects on brain health. You can now watch the video of the event to find out: Does a healthy body equal a healthy brain?

The Dana Foundation supports a grant to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for a series of briefings designed to educate Congressional members and their staffs about topical issues in neuroscience.

 

Enter the 2017 Design a Brain Experiment Competition

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As students head into their first weeks of the school year, another round of the Design a Brain Experiment competition is upon us! We’re challenging high school students in the U.S. to use their knowledge of the brain and the scientific method of inquiry to develop innovative ideas and theories about the human brain. These original experiments should be designed to test creative theories about daily brain activity, brain disorders and diseases, and brain functions. However, students should not complete their experiments; they should view these submissions as research proposals rather than completed research.

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