Modern Human Brain Originated in Africa Around 1.7 Million Years Ago

The human brain as we know it today is relatively young. It evolved about 1.7 million years ago when the culture of stone tools in Africa became increasingly complex. A short time later, the new Homo populations spread to Southeast Asia, researchers from the University of Zurich have now shown using computed tomography analyses of fossilized skulls.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Breaking new ground in study of malignant pediatric brain tumor

Researchers identified a series of cancer-causing driver gene mutations and discovered that medulloblastoma is perhaps an even more dynamic and variable tumor than expected.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Targeted treatment shrinks deadly pediatric brain tumors

For children — whose tiny bodies are still growing — chemotherapy and radiation treatments can cause lifelong damage. Now, scientists have reported that a targeted therapy that blocks a protein called LSD1 was able to shrink tumors in mice with a form of pediatric brain cancer known as medulloblastoma. LSD1 inhibitors are currently under evaluation in clinical trials for other cancers.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Building a bigger brain

A gene, found only in humans and active in the cerebral cortex, can enlarge the ferret brain (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Doped by food

Dopamine release regulates our eating behaviour

When it comes to our food intake, we are only partially in control. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne were able to show that our gastrointestinal tract is in constant contact with the brain and uses reward stimuli to control our desire for food. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Sex differences identified in deadly brain tumors

More males get, and die of, the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma than females. A team of researchers has identified distinct molecular signatures of glioblastoma in men and women that help explain disparities in patients‘ response to treatment and survival. The research suggests that tailoring treatments to men and women with glioblastoma based on the molecular subtypes of their tumors may improve survival for all patients. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Brain Confetti – Why our Sense of Smell Declines in Old Age

As mammals age, their sense of smell deteriorates. In a study published in the journal ‘Cell Reports’, an interdisciplinary research team at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University Medical Centre Mainz investigated why this is the case. For their study, the researchers tracked the development of stem cells in the brains of mice using what are known as confetti reporters. They then analysed the complex data obtained using intelligent algorithms. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Communication between neural networks

Researchers at the Bernstein Center Freiburg and colleagues are proposing a new model to explain how neural networks in different brain areas communicate with each other (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Some brain tumors may respond to immunotherapy

A new study suggests that a slow-growing brain tumor arising in patients affected by neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) may be vulnerable to immunotherapy, which gives the immune system a boost in fighting cancer. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

How does cancer spread?

How does cancer spread? While studying human brain tumour cells, a team of scientists found some answers to this crucial, yet so far unanswered question. They looked at a gene called EGFRvIII, which is present in patients with glioblastoma — a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that spreads quickly and that is difficult to treat. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Promising lead in genetic approach to treating glioblastoma

Scientists hope they have made progress toward a next-generation drug that may slow tumor growth and boost radiation’s effectiveness in patients with the deadly brain cancer. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Seeing begins before we actually see anything

How does vision work, and what happens in the brain during the process? As simple as this question may sound, it has yet to be scientifically clarified in full. Dr. Valentin Riedl of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and his team have now been able to show that the distribution of the two most important neurotransmitters in the brain changes as soon as we open our eyes, regardless of whether we actually see anything. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Mutation that causes autism and intellectual disability makes brain less flexible

Molecular and behavioral consequences of SETD5 mutation described in mice – Study published in Nature Neuroscience (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Good preparation is half the digestion

The digestive system of our body is already activated before we take the first bite. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne show how sensing food activates neurons in the brain which prime the liver for digestion. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Decrease in specific gene ’silencing‘ molecules linked with pediatric brain tumors

Experimenting with lab-grown brain cancer cells, researchers have added to evidence that a shortage of specific tiny molecules that silence certain genes is linked to the development and growth of pediatric brain tumors known as low-grade gliomas. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Scientists solve century-old neuroscience mystery; answers may lead to epilepsy treatment

Scientists have solved a 125-year-old mystery of the brain, and, in the process, uncovered a potential treatment for acquired epilepsy. Perineuronal nets modulate electrical impulses in the brain, and, should the nets dissolve, brain seizures can occur. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Tiny molecule has big effect in childhood brain tumor studies

A very small molecule under study is able to kill a childhood brain cancer, and the lead researcher said it may be possible to reduce by 90 percent the amount of chemotherapy and radiation required to kill such tumors. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Cancer: Brain-derived compounds show surprising benefits

In a Veterans Affairs study, a humanmade compound based on a brain hormone spurred the growth of cancer in Petri dishes but enigmatically had the opposite effect in mice. The compound and others like it are being looked at not only for their effect on cancer, but for their ability to regrow healthy tissue to heal damaged hearts and other organs. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Study shows potential to develop brain tumour liquid biopsies

Scientists are making strides in developing liquid biopsies for brain tumours by detecting tumour DNA in the fluid from around the brain and spine. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Fluorescent marker can help guide surgeons to remove dangerous brain tumor cells more accurately

A chemical that highlights tumor cells has been used by surgeons to help spot and safely remove brain cancer in a recent trial. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Scientists bring new hope to brain tumor patients

Scientists undertook a groundbreaking large-scale study on secondary glioblastomas (sGBM) to search for new therapy treatments. sGBMs are an aggressive type of brain tumor, target younger patients and existing treatment method is insufficient. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Nature of immune cells in the human brain disclosed

Researchers have disclosed the nature of how T cells protect the brain against harmful viruses. The results of the study are important for investigating the role of the immune system in numerous brain disorders. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Surprising network activity in the immature brain

Developing brain networks act locally to build globally (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

Individual stress susceptibility and glucose metabolism are linked to brain function

Perturbations in brain glucose metabolism identified as cause for stress-induced spatial memory impairments (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)

LISA: Scientists introduce a new method of statistical inference in neuroimaging (fMRI)

New method detects brain activations with improved sensitivity and accuracy (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)