Monthly Archives: June 2015

Injecting electronics into the brain

Biotechin.Asia

Invented by Harvard and Chinese scientists, the new method could treat a range of diseases from neurodegenerative disorders to paralysis. 

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In a first-of-its-kind attempt, U.S. and Chinese scientists have developed a new method to inject microelectronic devices such as wires and transistors directly into the brain (or other body parts), that could lead to sophisticated new ways to treat conditions ranging from neurodegenerative disorders to paralysis.

Researchers have developed stretchy, bendy electronics that are so thin that they can be rolled up and jammed into a small needle with a 0.1-millimeter diameter. These electronics are then injected into living tissue using syringes. The research involved injecting the electronics into the brains of live mice. Within an hour of being injected, the electronics unfurled and began monitoring biological activity.

Previous research revealed that electronics like these can be surgically implanted, but so far, it hasn’t been possible to precisely control their delivery to non-invasive target…

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June 18, 2015 · 3:40 pm

The Embodied Brain

Though the title of this very blog may lead one to suppose that the processes of human thought, feeling and behaviour are “All in Our Heimgresad” this, in fact, couldn’t be further from the case. The human brain is directly and intimately connected with the body of the human organism. We think what we think, feel what we feel, we are who we are and do what we do both because our brains are wired up in a particular way and because our bodies are configured and composed in a unique manner.

The recent discovery of direct, previously undetected connections between the human brain and the immune system is just one example of the reciprocal relationship between the mind and the body, suggesting the significance of the concept of the “embodied brain”…an idea that will be explored in much more depth in a series of upcoming posts…

SyesWideShut

Courtesy of University of Virginia:

In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.

That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis.

“Instead of asking, ‘How do we study the immune response of the brain?,’ ‘Why do multiple sclerosis patients have the immune attacks?,’ now we can approach this mechanistically – because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels,” said Jonathan Kipnis, a professor…

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