Jon Hamilton http://news.stlpublicradio.org en Bursts Of Light Create Memories, Then Take Them Away http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/bursts-light-create-memories-then-take-them-away You can't just open up a living brain and see the memories inside.<p>So Roberto Malinow, a brain scientist at the University of California, San Diego, has spent years trying to find other ways to understand how memories are made and lost. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:07:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 36664 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Bursts Of Light Create Memories, Then Take Them Away Max Planck Goes To Florida, Invites Brain Scientists To Join http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/max-planck-goes-florida-invites-brain-scientists-join Germany's famous Max Planck Society has opened a brain research institute in Jupiter, Fla. It's another move in the international competition to attract the best brain researchers. Mon, 05 May 2014 20:25:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 35867 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/one-scientists-quest-vanquish-epileptic-seizures In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named <a href="http://www.anatomy.uci.edu/solteszres.html">Ivan Soltesz</a> heard a story that would shape his career.<p>His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.<p>"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:41:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 35432 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures Gene Linked To Alzheimer's Poses A Special Threat To Women http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/gene-linked-alzheimers-poses-special-threat-women A gene associated with Alzheimer's disease appears especially dangerous to women and may be one reason that more women than men are diagnosed with the disease.<p>The gene, known as APOE4, increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's in both sexes. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:00:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 35297 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Gene Linked To Alzheimer's Poses A Special Threat To Women The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/forgotten-childhood-why-early-memories-fade Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.<p>But Francis looks puzzled when his mom, Joanne Csedrik, asks him about a family trip to the Philippines when he was 3. "It was to celebrate someone's birthday," she tells him. "We took a long plane ride, two boat trips," she adds. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:25:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 35136 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/brain-changes-suggest-autism-starts-womb The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.<p>Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307491?query=featured_home">researchers report</a> in the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em>. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 22:56:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 34769 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/fda-studies-suggest-bpa-food-isnt-health-risk Maybe BPA isn't so bad after all.<p>The plastic additive has been <a href="http://www.ewg.org/New-Research-Fuels-Demand-for-BPA-Free-Food-Cans">vilified</a> by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are <a href="http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/20/toxsci.kfu022.abstract">reporting</a> in the journal <em>Toxicological Sciences</em>.<p>The results "both support and extend the conclusion from the U.S. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 22:28:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 34029 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/experimental-tool-uses-light-tweak-living-brain When President Obama <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/02/176060875/obama-s-brain-map-plan-a-most-audacious-project">announced his BRAIN Initiative</a> in April, he promised to give scientists "the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action."<p>An early version of one of those tools already exists, scientists say. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 21:36:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 32590 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/brain-cells-geotag-memories-cache-what-happened-and-where Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.<p>As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/">researchers report</a> in <em>Science</em>. Thu, 28 Nov 2013 19:03:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 31813 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch? http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/pregnancy-whats-worse-cigarettes-or-nicotine-patch Lots of studies have shown that cigarette smoke isn't good for a fetus. So many pregnant women use nicotine gum or skin patches or inhalers to help them stay away from cigarettes.<p>A few years ago, Megan Stern became one of those women. "I smoked heavily for the first seven weeks of my pregnancy because I didn't know I was pregnant," she says. "It was an accidental pregnancy, and I found out while I was in the emergency room for another issue."<p>Stern, who lives in Massachusetts, was 21 at the time and had been smoking since she was 14. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 07:54:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 31703 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch?