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Learning in Biological News

Scientists are learning more about big birds from feathers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Catching adult eagles for research purposes is no easy task, but a Purdue University researcher has found a way around the problem, and, in the process, gathered even more information about the birds without ever laying a hand on one. "Many birds are small, easy to catch ...

At WPI, some students are learning it's OK to peek

WORCESTER, Mass. There was a time when peeking at another student's work during class was a problem. Then again, there was a time when only televisions had clickers, not classrooms. Starting in January, not only do students in the undergraduate biology lab sections at Worcester Polytechnic Ins...

DREAM: 1 gene regulates pain, learning and memory

This release is available in German . In 2002, a group of scientists at the University of Toronto was able to identify a gene which they dubbed DREAM (downstream regulatory element antagonistic modulator). The gene's function was highly interesting: it obviously served as a key regulator ...

New report on science learning at museums, zoos, other informal settings

WASHINGTON -- Each year, tens of millions of Americans, young and old, choose to learn about science in informal ways -- by visiting museums and aquariums, attending after-school programs, pursuing personal hobbies, and watching TV documentaries, for example. There is abundant evidence that these...

Baby talk: The roots of the early vocabulary in infants' learning from speech

Although babies typically start talking around 12 months of age, their brains actually begin processing certain aspects of language much earlier, so that by the time they start talking, babies actually already know hundreds of words. While studying language acquisition in infants can be a challeng...

Statin does not appear helpful for children with learning disabilities caused by genetic disorder

Use of simvastatin by children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disorder that can cause learning disabilities, did not result in improved cognitive function, according to a study in the July 16 issue of JAMA . Characteristics of NF1 (incidence 1:3,000) include skin disorders, pro...

Distance learning course in radiation oncology for cancer treatment

A shortage of medical specialists for cancer treatment in developing countries is a driving force behind a new web-based educational course that could help change the health-care picture over time. The course - in the speciality of radiation oncology - is being spearheaded in the Asia and Pacific ...

Novel mechanism for long-term learning identified by Carnegie Mellon researchers

PITTSBURGH Practice makes perfect or at least thats what were told as we struggle through endless rounds of multiplication tables, goal kicks and piano scales and it seems, based on the personal experience of many, to be true. Thats why neuroscientists have been perplexed by data showing that ...

Teamwork improves learning and career success

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA -- A two-year study of college students at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) proves that students learn better and develop higher-level skills by participating in cooperative (team) activities, compared to traditional classroom teaching methods. Elsa Snchez and Richard...

MU study finds connection between evolution, classroom learning

COLUMBIA, Mo. Over thousands of years, humans have evolved to naturally understand things like facial expressions and social interactions. But a University of Missouri researcher has found there is an ever-widening gap between what humans can naturally learn and what they need to learn to be succ...

Moths with a nose for learning

Much like Pavlov conditioned his dog to salivate in anticipation of food when a bell rang, insects can be trained to perform certain behaviors when enticed with different smells. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the National Institute ...

Research with squirrels provides clues on hormone's role in human learning

Tests on the influence that a stress-related hormone has on learning in ground squirrels could have an impact on understanding how it influences human learning, according to a University of Chicago researcher. Jill Mateo, Assistant Professor in Comparative Human Development, has found that when...

'Smart' mice teach scientists about learning process, brain disorders

Mice genetically engineered to lack a single enzyme in their brains are more adept at learning than their normal cousins, and are quicker to figure out that their environment has changed, a team led by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center has found. The results, appearing today in the...

Mechanism of nicotine's learning effects explored

While nicotine is highly addictive, researchers have also shown the drug to enhance learning and memory—a property that has launched efforts to develop nicotine-like drugs to treat cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorde...

Drug treatment improves learning in mice with Down syndrome symptoms, Stanford/Packard study shows

A once-a-day, short-term treatment with a drug compound substantially improved learning and memory in mice with Down syndrome symptoms, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. What’s more, the gains lasted for months after the treatment ...

Pheromone from mother's milk may rapidly promote learning in newborn mammals

By studying the ability of newborn rabbit pups to learn the significance of new odors, researchers have found that a mammary pheromone secreted in mother's milk may act as a chemical booster that facilitates the ability of pups to quickly associate environmental odors with the opportunity to nurse....

Losing sleep undoes the rejuvenating effects new learning has on the brain

As the pace of life quickens and it becomes harder to balance home and work, many people meet their obligations by getting less sleep. But sleep deprivation impairs spatial learning -- including remembering how to get to a new destination. And now scientists are beginning to understand how that h...

More animals join the learning circle

Killer whales and chimpanzees both pass on "traditions" to other members of their group, according to two separate studies of feeding behaviour. The findings add to evidence that cultural learning is widespread among animals. One study involved killerwhales at Marineland in Niagara Falls in Onta...

Mice brains shrink during winter, impairing some learning and memory

The brains of one species of mouse actually shrink during the winter, causing the mice to have more difficulty with some types of learning, a new study found. The results showed that, during the short days of winter, white-footed mice had impaired spatial memory ?the mental map that helps them r...

Building a protein name dictionary from full text: a machine learning term extraction approach

The majority of information in the biological literature resides in full text articles, instead of abstracts. Yet, abstracts remain the focus of many publicly available literature data mining tools. Most literature mining tools rely on pre-existing lexicons of biological names, often extracted from...

Structure-building cell signals also may influence learning and memory

A Burnham Institute study has found that one of the cell's largest families of signaling molecules, called ephrins, which are known to regulate the development of nerve cells, also controls nerve cells' ability to engulf critical chemicals and proteins for learning and memory. These findings, the f...

NIH stimulus funding supports Emory biomedical scientists

... disease. Scientists are testing magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a way to spot these chemicals in the brain. Impact of video viewing on infant learning TV programs and videos targeted at infants are flourishing, despite the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that watching videos is...

Protein handlers should be effective treatment target for cancer and Alzheimer's

... AUGUSTA, Ga. Cancer and Alzheimer's have excess protein in common and scientists say learning more about how proteins are made and eliminated will lead to better treatment for both. Medical College of Georgia researchers Drs. Nahid F. Mivech...

Obama administration announces more than $327 million in Recovery Act funding for science research

...ry infrastructure projects. Ten of DOE's national laboratories in six states will be receiving funds, along with researchers at institutions of higher learning across the nation. "These new initiatives will help to create new jobs while allowing the U.S. to maintain its scientific leadership and economic ...

Holding breath for several minutes elevates marker for brain damage

...erwater, how far they can swim underwater and how deep they can dive. Participants must undergo intense training to increase their lung capacity while learning crucial safety measures. Breath-hold diving often leads to hypoxia, elevated blood pressure, slowed heartbeat and other physiological changes. Howe...

Researchers develop 'brain-reading' methods

...orizing a list of words that include the word dog is likely to draw up a memory of a pet, the same as reading a story about a dog would. Using machine learning techniques (a support vector machine), capable of analyzing and categorizing large amounts of data, the researchers were able to identify those slight...

Cancer's distinctive pattern of gene expression could aid early screening and prevention

...blished an epigenomics program to coordinate such efforts to better understand how this method of gene regulation fits into normal development, aging, learning and memory as well as its role in cancer, obesity, depression and other disease. DNA methylation inhibitors already are under study at MCG and othe...

Short stressful events may improve working memory

...and mentally, and can have a detrimental effect on learning and emotion. However, acute stress -- a short stressful incident -- may enhance learning and memory. Researchers at the University at Bu...at acute stress can produce a beneficial effect on learning and memory, through the effect of the stress hormo...

A genetic basis for schizophrenia

... The second paper, published in the June 2009 online issue of Human Molecular Genetics , studied the hippocampus, a brain area that is involved in learning and memory, and is also associated with the pathology of schizophrenia. Disc1 is highly expressed in the hippocampus, particularly the dentate gyrus,...

Iowa State University researchers develop process for 'surgical' genetic changes

...ssisted methods that allow the same changes at a rate as low as 1 in 10 million. "I've been working in this field for 29 years, just when we started learning how to modify genes," said Townsend. "From that day, this was the goal -- to actually get the research to the point where you can have homologous reco...

Sex involved in plant defense

...ithstand attacks from plant-eaters like caterpillars better than plant relatives that reproduce by themselves. The findings are important steps to learning more about how plants have evolved defenses against insect herbivores, says Dr. Marc Johnson, assistant professor of plant biology at NC State and the...

Results from trials of DHA in Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline

... a change from baseline in CANTAB Paired Associate learning (PAL), a visuospatial episodic memory test. Aft...le the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance versus those who took a pla.... "The benefit is roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger."...

UT multimedia program increases middle school interest in science

... Middle school students who were part of a unique science learning program developed by The University of Texas School of Public Health showed significant increases in interest and achievement scores compared to other...

Research network wins approximately £5.7 million to target human and animal diseases in Africa

...g topics including: emerging and zoonotic diseases, linkages between agriculture and health, access to medicines in developing countries, and Distance learning for Development (DL4D). ...

A young brain for an old bee

... division of labour among honey bees affects their learning performance as they age. Surprisingly, they have f...their social role, aging honey bees can keep their learning ability intact or even improve it. The scientists ... foraging duration, their capacity for associative learning was found to decrease. On the other hand, no decli...

Singapore nanotechnology combats fatal brain infections

...fatal infections and are highly therapeutic. Major brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis are a leading cause of death, hearing loss, learning disability and brain damage in patients. IBN's peptide nanoparticles, on the other hand, contain a membrane-penetrating component that enables the...

Computers aid in cracking deception in plants

...t-pathogen interaction, but detecting it experimentally is difficult due to the sheer volume of proteins involved. By applying concepts of machine learning and pattern recognition, Korkin will narrow the field of potential protein candidates by identifying protein binding sites in the soybean that match w...

UT San Antonio researcher wins $917,000 from NIH to study memory

... questions. According to Derrick, the key lies in the difference between learning and memory. "Learning is the acquisition of new knowledge," he notes. "Memory is the persistence of learning over time. This kind of memory does not simply involve 'what' and 'where' ...

Targeting helpers of heat shock proteins could help treat cancer, cardiovascular disease

...bitors already under study for cancer shows they tend to migrate to the highly active Hsp90 in tumors. He wants to block Hsp90 in cancer cells by learning more about how it works in normal and cancer cells. A recent grant from the American Heart Association will enable him to further decipher how GCUNC45...

Tumor suppressor gene in flies may provide insights for human brain tumors

...me pathway to regulate stem cell self-renewal and tumor development," Wang said. The research team plans to uncover novel proteins in this pathway by learning which protein functions between PP2A and Polo during the neural stem cell division process. ...
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