Category Archives: Neuroscience

Researchers Pinpoint Protein at Heart of ALS Communication Breakdown

MRI of ALS patient. Image courtesy Frank Gaillard.

No cure exists for Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal neuromuscular illness affecting tens of thousands of Americans. But scientists may have found how a key protein helps drive its degenerative progress.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
UA, Barrow Researchers Explain ALS Key Protein Breakdown

A Peek Into the Mind of Man’s Best Friend

Humans have long fixated on which mental traits distinguish us from other animals. Now, University of Arizona researchers are asking what our canine companions can tell us about ourselves.

In this feature, I take you behind the scenes of this laboratory and introduce you to some of its remarkable minds, both two- and four-legged.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Arizona Scientists Study Dog Minds To Better Understand Our Own

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