Showing results 1-10 of 122 for 'neuroscience'
The Weizmann Institute’s diverse, creative autism research is exemplified by three recent projects: investigating the immune system-brain development connection, using optogenetics to turn autistic behaviors on and off, and determining the causes of social shyness.
Israel21c reports on research by optogenetics pioneer Dr. Ofer Yizhar. Working with Weizmann colleague Prof. Rony Paz and others, Dr. Yizhar showed that weakening the communication between two parts of the brain reduced fear levels in mice. “This new technique may one day help extinguish traumatic memories in humans – for example, in people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.”
In Issue No. 47 of Weizmann Views, serendipity leads Dr. Ofer Yizhar to his life’s work: pioneering the remarkable new field of optogenetics. Optogenetics combines optics – the branch of physics concerned with light – and genetics to offer previously unimaginable new ways of studying the brain. Dr. Yizhar's work has particular import for the understanding of autism.
Dr. Ofer Yizhar, optogenetics pioneer, has used the tools of that field to successfully shut down a neuronal mechanism that helps form fearful memories in the mouse brain. After the procedure, the mice “forgot” that they had been previously frightened. This research, conducted with Prof. Rony Paz, may someday help extinguish traumatic memories in people.
Prof. Eran Hornstein discovered that a small molecule already on the market for a different disease can also be active in treating ALS. As Globes reports, NeuroSense Therapeutics will develop the technology; since ALS is considered a priority, NeuroSense believes that it will be able to bring the drug to market within five years.
The lab of Prof. Alon Chen has found that, besides our classic stress response – an acute reaction that gradually abates when the threat passes – we appear to have a separate mechanism that deals only with chronic stress. The team found a new mechanism that apparently regulates the stress response. These findings may lead to better diagnosis of and treatment for anxiety and depression.
In Issue No. 44 of WeizmannViews, we share the stress-response-related research of Prof. Rony Paz. He investigates how the brain processes stress - for example, how is a traumatic event encoded in such a way as to trigger PTSD? His work could lead to new and better treatments for mental illnesses.
The lab of Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky revealed that brain cells can guide us to our destination, even when we can’t see it. Scientific American’s Moheb Costandi reports on the research in Salon, also addressing related findings from other institutions and the question of whether the Ulanovsky cells are new types of cells, or represent more flexibility in other cells than previously suspected.
Bats - and humans - can find their favorite fruit stand (or coffee shop) even when it’s hidden behind a screen or buildings. How? Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky and team have now identified the neurons that point bats in the right direction, even when their destination is obscured. This could shed light on Alzheimer’s and other disorders.