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Scientists discover previously unknown cleaning system in brain. A previously unrecognized system that drains waste from the brain at a rapid clip has been discovered by neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Scientists discover previously unknown cleaning system in brain

The findings were published online August 15 in Science Translational Medicine. The highly organized system acts like a series of pipes that piggyback on the brain's blood vessels, sort of a shadow plumbing system that seems to serve much the same function in the brain as the lymph system does in the rest of the body – to drain away waste products. "Waste clearance is of central importance to every organ, and there have been long-standing questions about how the brain gets rid of its waste," said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., senior author of the paper and co-director of the University's Center for Translational Neuromedicine. "This work shows that the brain is cleansing itself in a more organized way and on a much larger scale than has been realized previously. "It's a hydraulic system," said Nedergaard. Hackers backdoor the human brain, successfully extract sensitive data.

With a chilling hint of the not-so-distant future, researchers at the Usenix Security conference have demonstrated a zero-day vulnerability in your brain.

Hackers backdoor the human brain, successfully extract sensitive data

Using a commercial off-the-shelf brain-computer interface, the researchers have shown that it’s possible to hack your brain, forcing you to reveal information that you’d rather keep secret. As we’ve covered in the past, a brain-computer interface is a two-part device: There’s the hardware — which is usually a headset (an EEG; an electroencephalograph) with sensors that rest on your scalp — and software, which processes your brain activity and tries to work out what you’re trying to do (turn left, double click, open box, etc.) BCIs are generally used in a medical setting with very expensive equipment, but in the last few years cheaper, commercial offerings have emerged. For $200-300, you can buy an Emotiv (pictured above) or Neurosky BCI, go through a short training process, and begin mind controlling your computer. The Unobservable Mind.

Consciousness is more familiar to us than any other feature of our world, since it is the route by which anything at all becomes familiar.

The Unobservable Mind

But this is what makes consciousness so hard to pinpoint. Look for it wherever you like, you encounter only its objects – a face, a dream, a memory, a color, a pain, a melody, a problem, but nowhere the consciousness that shines on them. Trying to grasp it is like trying to observe your own observing, as though you were to look with your own eyes at your own eyes without using a mirror. Not surprisingly, therefore, the thought of consciousness gives rise to peculiar metaphysical anxieties, which we try to allay with images of the soul, the mind, the self, the “subject of consciousness,” the inner entity that thinks and sees and feels and that is the real me inside. But these traditional “solutions” merely duplicate the problem. This appropriation of the question by philosophy is apt to make scientists impatient. But will we? Brain wave function. Mycoted.

Brain structure

Info on brain excercising. Scientists discover how the brain encodes memories at a cellular level. (Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other.

"When we learn new things, when we store memories, there are a number of things that have to happen," said senior author Kenneth S. Kosik, co-director and Harriman Chair in Neuroscience Research, at UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute. Kosik is a leading researcher in the area of Alzheimer's disease. "One of the most important processes is that the synapses –– which cement those memories into place –– have to be strengthened," said Kosik.

This is a neuron. (Photo Credit: Sourav Banerjee) Part of strengthening a synapse involves making new proteins. Playing the Body Electric. EACH NEW GENERATION of astronomers discovers that the universe is much bigger than their predecessors imagined.

Playing the Body Electric

The same is also true of brain complexity. Every era’s most advanced technologies, when applied to the study of the brain, keep uncovering more layers of nested complexity, like a set of never ending Russian dolls. We now know that there are up to 1,000 different subtypes of nerve cells and supporting actors—the glia and astrocytes—within the nervous system. Each cell type is defined by its chemical constituents, neuronal morphology, synaptic architecture and input-output processing. Different cell types are wired up in specific ways. Bulk tissue technologies such as functional brain imaging or electroencephalography identify specific brain regions related to vision, pain or memory. Furthermore, as our understanding of the brain grows, our desire to intervene, to help ameliorate the many pathologies to which the mind is prey, grows commensurately.

Top 10 Brain Myths" At one time in history, decapitation was one of the preferred methods of execution, in part thanks to the guillotine.

Top 10 Brain Myths"

Although many countries that execute criminals have dispatched with the method, it's still performed by certain governments, terrorists and others. There's nothing more final than the severing of one's head. The guillotine came about because of the desire for a quick, relatively humane death. But how quick is it? If your head were cut off, would you still be able to see or otherwise move it, even for just a few seconds?

This concept perhaps first appeared during the French Revolution, the very time period in which the guillotine was created. Another often-told tale of demonstrated consciousness following beheading dates to 1905. These stories seem to give credence to the idea that it's possible for someone to remain conscious, even for just a few seconds, after being beheaded. If your head stays on your shoulders, though, it can still be damaged beyond repair. Jellied Century-Old Brains Reveal Secrets of Mental Illness. Among the bloodletting boxes, ether inhalers, kangaroo-tendon sutures and other artifacts stored at the Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis are hundreds of scuffed-up canning jars full of dingy yellow liquid and chunks of human brains.

Jellied Century-Old Brains Reveal Secrets of Mental Illness

Until the late 1960s the museum was the pathology department of the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane. The bits of brain in the jars were collected during patient autopsies performed between 1896 and 1938. Most of the jars sat on a shelf until the summer of 2010, when Indiana University School of Medicine pathologist George Sandusky began popping off the lids. Frustrated by a dearth of postmortem brain donations from people with mental illness, Sandusky—who is on the board of directors at the museum—seized the chance to search this neglected collection for genes that contribute to mental disorders. Sandusky is not alone. Many of the samples are preserved in celloidin, a hard, rubbery and highly flammable form of cellulose.

Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health Authority: Market Research and Advisory Services. How the brain perceives shades of gray. How the brain perceives color is one of its more impressive tricks.

How the brain perceives shades of gray

It is able to keep a stable perception of an object's color as lighting conditions change. Sarah Allred, an assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers-Camden, has teamed up with psychologists from the University of Pennsylvania on groundbreaking research that provides new insight into how this works. Allred conducted the research with Alan L. Gilchrist, a professor of psychology at Rutgers-Newark, and professor David H. Brainard and post-doctoral fellow Ana Radonjic, both of the University of Pennsylvania. "Although we recognize easily the colors of objects in many different environments, this is a difficult problem for the brain," Allred says. The process of seeing an object begins when light reflected off that object hits the light-sensitive structures in the eye. Allred says the brain processes perceptual differences between black and white objects even when illumination of the object changes.

The Brain—Information about the Brain. 1 Introduction “I think, therefore I am.”

The Brain—Information about the Brain

—René Descartes, 17th-century philosopher Few of us question the crucial importance of the brain. It is vital to our existence. Our brains enable us to think, as René Descartes so skillfully pointed out nearly 400 years ago. The brain makes up only 2 percent of our body weight, but it consumes 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe and 20 percent of the energy we consume. Scientists have worked for many years to unravel the complex workings of the brain. Despite these and other significant advances in the field of brain research, most of the processes responsible for the integrated functioning of billions of brain cells remain a mystery. An essential aspect of any scientific research is communicating results to the public in a way that is easily understood. To correctly interpret the information transmitted through these venues, we need a better understanding of basic concepts related to the brain. 2 Myths and Realities about the Brain Figure 1.