New Brain Implant Device Could Restore Function in Paralyzed Limbs:
University of Cambridge Department of Engineering and Clinical Neurosciences
A brain implant that can restore arm and leg movements has been developed by British scientists to boost connections between neurons and the paralyzed limbs, offering hope to accident victims. The device combines flexible electronics and human stem cells to better integrate with the nerve and drive limb function. By sandwiching a layer of muscle cells reprogrammed from stem cells between the electrodes and the living tissue in rats, the researchers found that the device integrated with the host’s body and the formation of scar tissue was prevented. While extensive research and testing will be needed before it can be used in humans, the device is a promising development for amputees or those who’ve lost function in limbs.
For Stressed-Out Grad Students, Mindfulness Makes Big Difference:
Phase 1 significant effects. Graphical representations of significant effects observed between pre- and post-test means in four measures for intervention and control groups. The vertical bars represent standard error of the mean. Credit: PLOS ONE (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281994
A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has discovered that normalizing mindfulness practices in graduate students improves overall well-being. Their results showed that regular, sustained mindfulness activities can play an important role in improving engineering graduate students' emotional well-being. In the study, engineering graduate student cohorts participated in an hour-long, instructor-led mindfulness training program once a week for eight weeks. Each week is built upon the last giving training for activities such as mindfulness meditation and strategies for changing responses to your emotions. In post-training surveys, students reported significantly improved emotional well-being, a more positive outlook, fewer negative emotions, and increased mindfulness. Compared to the control group, the mindfulness training group rated themselves significantly higher for overall well-being.
Scientists Have Now Recorded Brain Waves From Freely Moving Octopuses:
By implanting wireless devices into three octopuses like this one (Octopus cyanea, also known as the big blue octopus), researchers are now able to study the famously intelligent cephalopods’ brain activity during natural behaviors. MICHAEL KUBA
For the first time, scientists at the University of Naples Federico have recorded brain waves from freely moving octopuses. The research done by Tamar Gutnick and colleagues adapted portable data loggers typically used on birds, and surgically inserted the devices into three octopuses. The researchers also placed recording electrodes inside areas of the octopus’s brain that deal with learning and memory. The team then recorded the octopuses for 12 hours while the cephalopods went about their daily lives sleeping, swimming, and self-grooming in tanks. Some of the brain waves recorded were similar to those in the human hippocampus (responsible for memory consolidation) and those associated with sleep were similar to other animals. However, the most interesting find was unusually slow and strong brain waves, cycling just two per second, or 2 hertz. While this research has some great findings, more experiments will have to be done to have more conclusive results.