tech and geek stuff
Implants let quadriplegic man drink from mug and feed himself
Regained movementCase Western Reserve University/Cleveland FES Center/PA WireBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationA quadriplegic man in the US has been able to use his right arm and hand again...
“Groundbreaking” tech restores movement in paralyzed man
For the first time, a paralyzed man has regained functional arm movement and is able to feed himself using his own hand as a result of new technology that reconnects his brain with his muscles.Bill Kochevar,...
Elon Musk's new company said to seek brain-computer link
Elon Musk believes we are ready for a mind meld, but instead of connecting the brains of two Vulcans, a la “Star Trek,” the billionaire entrepreneur wants to link human brains with computers. The CEO of...
Elon Musk is setting up a company that will link brains and computers
Get ready to plug in.Village Roadshow Pictures reader comments 11 Share this story Billionaire futurist space explorer Elon Musk has a new project: a "medical research company" called Neuralink that will...
Elon Musk’s new venture could make his cyborg dreams a reality
Because self-driving cars and space travel weren't high-tech enough already, Elon Musk is planning another startup straight out of the pages of science fiction: augmenting the human brain with computers.The...
Why are primates big-brained? Researchers' answer is food for thought
Brain size in primates is predicted by diet, an analysis by a team of anthropologists indicates. These results call into question “the social brain hypothesis,” which has posited that humans and other...
Putting bigger brains down to our social nature is half-baked
Decent food gave you brainsPhil Yeomans/REX/ShutterstockBy Richard WranghamIn the past two million years, humans have experienced a massive increase in brain size, one not seen in any other species. This...
Scientists identify brain circuit that drives pleasure-inducing behavior
Neuroscientists have discovered a brain circuit that responds to rewarding events. Scientists have long believed that the central amygdala, a structure located deep within the brain, is linked with fear...
Study identifies brain cells involved in Pavlovian response
A new study has traced the Pavlovian response to a small cluster of brain cells -- the same neurons that go awry during Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease and Tourette's syndrome. The research could...
How the brain sees the world in 3-D
We live in a three-dimensional world, but everything we see is first recorded on our retinas in only two dimensions. So how does the brain represent 3-D information? In a new study, researchers for the...
Using a sat nav turns off parts of your brain
The dangers of relying too heavily on a sat nav have been extensively documented. But now scientists have figured out exactly why people end up driving into rivers, hitting bridges and more when staring...
Spider venom messes with our brains—and may help protect them from harm
Enlarge / the Australian funnel-web spider (Hadronyche infensa) Toby Hudson reader comments 0 Share this story It may not be radioactive, but venom from a dangerous spider in Australia may help give researchers...
fMRI may sort intentional crimes from reckless crimes
EnlargeFBI reader comments 9 Share this story Convicting someone of a crime depends in part on the mental state of the criminal. We make a distinction between knowing criminality and recklessness, and...
Premature babies’ brains respond differently to gentle touching
Babies born prematurely react different to touchBSIP/GettyBy Linda GeddesA gentle touch can make all the difference. Premature babies – who miss out on the sensory experiences of late gestation – show...
Brain could be far more active than scientists thought
New research could challenge scientists’ fundamental conception of how the brain works, perhaps paving the way to new treatments for mysterious neurological diseases.The study from the University of California,...
On The Horizon: Scorpion venom as cancer treatment
A multitude of potential advances are ON THE HORIZON in the field of cancer research, as reported by Susan Spencer:Behold, if you dare, the Israeli Deathstalker Scorpion. Its sting is excruciating, its...
Your brain fills gaps in your hearing without you realising
“Yes, I think I caught what you said!”PeopleImages/GettyBy Aylin WoodwardNoise is everywhere, but that’s OK. Your brain can still keep track of a conversation in the face of revving motorcycles, noisy...
Mystery brain particles may link head injuries to dementia
What are the long-term effects of head injuries?Westend61/GettyBy Andy CoghlanTiny particles secreted in response to head injury in the brains of mice could help explain how inflammation spreads and ultimately...
Brain is 10 times more active than previously measured, researchers find
A new study could change scientists' understanding of how the brain works -- and could lead to new approaches for treating neurological disorders and for developing computers that 'think' more like humans....
How to train your brain to be like a memory champion’s
Total recallWENN Ltd/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Sam WongBecoming a memory champion is easier than you think. The techniques mnemonists use to memorise hundreds of words or digits in minutes can be learned by...
Sociable woodpeckers that cooperate have evolved smaller brains
Cooperation may ease the strain on woodpeckers’ brainsWilliam Leaman/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Andy CoghlanIn primates such as humans, living in cooperative societies usually means having bigger brains — with...
Older people are just as good at judging music as younger adults
Still in tuneHenk Badenhorst/GettyBy Devika BansalIt may feel as if many of our mental abilities decline with age, but here’s one that sticks – our ability to sense when music sounds wrong. When you listen...
Brain cells show teamwork in short-term memory
Nerve cells in our brains work together in harmony to store and retrieve short-term memory, and are not solo artists as previously thought, new brain research has determined. The research has implications...
To your brain, spaceflight seems to be a lot like bed rest
Enlarge / The top row shows brain changes with long duration bed rest, the bottom row changes with spaceflight. Orange shows regions of increase, blue a decrease. reader comments 0 Share this story When...
Brain’s reward system earns researchers €1 million prize
By Andy CoghlanUnpicking the secrets of the brain’s reward system has earned three neuroscientists a reward of their own. Wolfram Schultz, Peter Dayan, and Ray Dolan have today been awarded the €1 million...
Which stories go viral? Those that tickle just the right spots of our brains
Enlarge / Ooooh, I should share this on Facebook.Getty | Bert Hardy reader comments 2 Share this story To figure out if a story will go viral on the Web, a crystal ball might seem useful. After all, any...
Tiny fibers open new windows into the brain
For the first time, a single multifunction flexible fiber no bigger than a human hair, has successfully delivered a combination of optical, electrical and chemical signals back and forth into the brain....
Mind-reading typing tool for paralysed people is fastest yet
Move the square with your mindStanford University School of MedicineBy Jessica HamzelouThree people with paralysis have learned to type by thought alone using a brain implant – at the fastest speeds recorded...
MRIs suggest why political beliefs are hard to change
LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to politics, it can be difficult to accept the other side. Some friendships have even ended as a result of opposing political views. Last November’s presidential election is...
Key Alzheimer’s drug shows ‘virtually no chance of working’
Alzheimer’s disease involves plaques (circular lesion at left)Science Photo LibraryBy Andy CoghlanAnother one bites the dust. Pharmaceutical giant Merck has halted a trial of a promising Alzheimer’s drug,...
New technology could make brain implants a commonplace reality
Researchers at Harvard Medical School are preparing to begin tests for a new kind of brain implant that could lead to the long-term restoration of sight for blind people.In previous experiments it’s been...
Spaceflight changes the shape of astronauts' brains
It appears that spaceflight really goes to astronauts’ heads.Doctors and scientists have long known that exposure to a weightless environment causes muscles to atrophy, bones to weaken and vision to deteriorate,...
Women with a thicker brain cortex are more likely to have autism
Typically maleCallista Images/SPLBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationHaving a thicker outer layer of the brain is linked to an increased likelihood of having autism. The cerebral cortex is the...
Sorting out what happens in the aging brains of bilinguals
Enlargeflickr user: Andrea Squatrito reader comments 7 Share this story Habla some other language? Bilingualism is a surprisingly fraught topic of research. For a long time, exciting results have been...
Sleep research high-resolution images show how the brain resets during sleep
Striking electron microscope pictures from inside the brains of mice suggest what happens in our own brain every day: Our synapses -- the junctions between nerve cells -- grow strong and large during the...
Completely paralysed people use thoughts to say they are happy
Can now answer “yes” and “no”www.wysscenter.chBy Jessica HamzelouParalysed people have communicated with their families by thought alone, thanks to a technique that learns to recognise brain activity...
How LSD affects the brain and creates its trippy effect
We’re getting at the roots of a tripDonald Iain Smith/GettyBy Sam WongOnce you drop, you can’t stop – sometimes for up to 15 hours. Images revealing how LSD interacts with receptors in the brain could...
Gene-blocking therapy reverses Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in mice
The treatment appears to destroy tau tangles (green)Sarah DeVosTargeting tangles of tau protein in mice with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms has reversed their brain damage, halting memory loss and extending...
Moody? Neurotic? Blame your brain shape
A team at Cambridge University studied brain imaging from 507 people to try and link the shape of our brains with five key personality traits.The team concluded that the outer layer of the brain - similar...
The folds in your brain may be linked to how neurotic you are
Those folds might be revealingKaren Kasmauski/GettyBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationWhat are you like? A look at your brain may tell you. A study has found a link between some elements of brain...
A brain wide chemical signal that enhances memory
How does heightened attention improve our mental capacity? This is the question tackled by new research, which reveals a chemical signal released across the brain in response to attention demanding or...
The brain uses REM sleep to cut unneeded connections
Enlarge / A nerve cell, with small features of dendrites highlighted in red.Shelley Halpain, UC San Diego reader comments 14 Share this story REM sleep is known to help solidify memories, but the mechanism...
How ants navigate homeward: Forward, backward, or sideward
Ants can get their bearings whatever the orientation of their body, new research shows. Their brains may be smaller than the head of a pin, but ants are excellent navigators that use celestial and terrestrial...
Toxic brain cells may drive many neurodegenerative disorders, study finds
While most of us haven't heard of astrocytes, these cells are four times as plentiful in the human brain as nerve cells. Now, a team led by researchers has found that astrocytes, which perform many indispensable...
Neuroscience tools used to understand the microprocessor; they fail
NES Launch: Donkey Kong (1983) This port of the arcade original, one of three titles to launch alongside the Famicom in 1983, was far from a perfect recreation, but it still represented a huge leap from...
Scientists adapt mouse brain to create enraged killers
Researchers tinkering with the brains of mice because they can't find anything interesting on Netflix have found a bizarre form of organic switch, one that uses laser light and chemicals to trigger neurons...
Viruses in genome important for our brain
Over millions of years retroviruses have been incorporated into our human DNA, where they today make up almost 10 per cent of the total genome. A research group has now discovered a mechanism through which...
Brain regions used for recognizing things change with age
EnlargeAurich Lawson reader comments 3 Share this story Face recognition and place recognition are both critical for everyday interactions, and they both depend on specialized regions of the brain. Neuroscientists...
Zapping the brain really does seem to improve depression
By Sally Adee Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) uses electrodes to send a current across the brainMarc Asnin/Redux/eyevineNow we know – zapping the brain with electricity really does seem...
When tragedy turns you into a genius
Remember A Beautiful Mind, the film about maths wizard John Nash? Here are some similar stories. IMAGINE if you woke up one day and could suddenly play an instrument flawlessly. Or make sense of complex...
Miniature brain and skull found inside 16-year-old girl’s ovary
A very unusual teratoma was discovered during appendix surgeryBarry Slaven/Science Photo LibraryBy Alice KleinA tumour containing a miniature brain has been found growing on the ovary of a 16-year-old...
Tiny nanoelectrodes record brain’s activity without damaging it
Not so noodly nowVictor Habbick Visions/GettyELECTRODES so thin they are barely there could make brain treatments safer. Wires are sometimes implanted in the brain to treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease...
One part of the brain unexpectedly continues to grow in adulthood
In humans, the part of the brain that's responsible for face recognition continues to grow into adulthood, a new study reveals. The results are surprising, since brain development is largely thought to...
Brain’s face recognition area grows much bigger as we get older
Our social connections get more complex as we matureImage Source/GettyBy Andy CoghlanIf you feel overwhelmed by an ever-growing social circle, fear not. Your brain can keep up with all those new faces,...
Brain shrinks less in older people who eat Mediterranean diet
Brain food?fcafotodigital/GettyBy New Scientist staff and Press AssociationEating a Mediterranean diet has been linked to less brain shrinkage in older adults. Human brains naturally shrink with age....
Addictive cravings still detectable after death
A protein known as FosB in the reward centre of the brain alters in chronically ill people suffering from an addictive disorder (e.g. heroin addiction): it is genetically modified, split off and shortened....
“Pregnancy brain” means reductions in gray matter for new mothers
EnlargeBethany Brown reader comments 12 Share this story Pregnancy is known to cause permanent physical changes, including hormonal changes and transformations to reproductive and abdominal tissues. But...
Becoming a mother may change the brain to read baby’s mind
Rewired for empathyRobbert Koene/GettyBy Andy CoghlanNew mums experience many changes – including dramatic ones in the brain, as scans taken before and after pregnancy have revealed. Elseline Hoekzema...
Brain cell transplant helps fearful mice overcome anxiety
I can see you and I’m not scaredDimitri Vervitsiotis/GettyBy Alice KleinHow can you stop old anxieties from resurfacing? An injection of new neurons may help, a study in mice suggests. Post-traumatic...
Samsung to release new phone after Note 7 woes
The firm will launch the Galaxy S8 at events in New York and London, according to reports.Industry insiders say it will come in two sizes and will feature a larger screen.Samsung will be hoping the S8...
New diversity report shows 85% of Uber’s tech workforce is male
Uber reader comments 3 Share this story Further ReadingSlack Engineering Director: Google should do “blind assessments” for hiringFor the first time, Uber released diversity figures for its employees—which...
Elon Musk's Latest Target: Brain-computer Interfaces
Tech billionaire Elon Musk is announcing a new venture called Neuralink focused on linking brains to computers. The company plans to develop brain implants that can treat neural disorders — and that may...
Legal threats and disgruntled clients: Inside ‘Uber for private jets’
Tim Martz made his fortune in broadcast radio, but even as a wealthy man, the price of chartering a private jet always stung a bit. So when Martz joined JetSmarter in February 2015, the service seemed...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark