Category Archives: Neuroscience

Tobacco Leaves Could Provide Cheap, Scalable Way to Make Zika Vaccine

Tobacco leaves drying. Photo by MRaccine.

Tobacco might have finally found the image upgrade it’s been looking for, as scientists hope to use the plant to produce a safe and cheap Zika vaccine.

If successful in humans, the plant-based approach could provide an effective solution for countries affected by the disease.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Scientists Use Tobacco Plant As Cheap, Scalable Zika Vaccine Factory

Pentagon Researches Ways to Boost Learning in Soldiers

Eight U.S. Department of Defense brain studies, one at Arizona State University, are investigating ways to help soldiers learn more efficiently.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) hopes not just to make better sharpshooters, but also to shorten training periods for translators, analysts and cryptographers — and, perhaps, to improve outcomes for soldiers with brain injury and memory loss.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
U.S. Department Of Defense Brain Study Seeks To Boost Learning In Soldiers

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

Biomarker-Based Concussion Test Passes Key Milestone

Diagram by Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator; C. Carl Jaffe, MD, cardiologist.

In one five-year period, college athletes suffered more than 10,000 concussions — one-third of them while playing football. But an unusual team-up has recently brought a new, biomarker-based concussion test one step closer.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
TGen, ASU And Riddell Team Up To Create New Concussion Test

Zebrafish Make a Big Splash in Arizona Medical Research

Photo by Nicholas Gerbis.

Mammals might seem like better human stand-ins than a minnow’s striped cousin, but zebrafish resemble us in surprising and useful ways. But zebrafish also offer practical advantages over other model species: They’re cheap, hardy, breed like rabbits on Viagra, and their skin can be made transparent.

To find out more about how Arizona researchers are using zebrafish in their research, read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Tiny Fish Makes A Big Splash In Arizona Medical Research