In the Lab

Collage of scientists prepping and looking at slides
When the Calgary Brain Bank receives a donation, neuroscientist Jeffrey Joseph meticulously divvies up tissue samples for researchers to study.
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Your selections: In the Lab
Scientist targeted by animal rights activists asks about the ethics of inaction.
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As our understanding of the processes that underlie brain damage progresses, it becomes possible to use small-molecule drugs, such as antibiotics and anti-tumor drugs, to alter these processes.
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Researchers throughout the world are pursuing a variety of new ways to repair or replace neurons and other cells in the brain. For the most part, these experimental approaches are still being worked out in animals and cannot be considered therapies for humans at this time.
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Most medicines today were developed using trial-and-error techniques, which often do not reveal why a drug produces a particular effect. But the expanding knowledge gained from molecular biology methods makes safer and more effective drugs possible.
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Once the neurons reach their final location, they must make the proper connections so that a particular function, such as vision or hearing, can emerge.
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The moment light meets the retina, the process of sight begins. About 60 years ago, scientists discovered that each vision cell’s receptive field is activated when light hits a tiny region in the center of the field and inhibited when light hits the area surrounding the center.
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A major breakthrough in understanding how the brain accomplishes learning and memory began with the study of a person known by his initials, H.M.
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One of the most prominent human abilities is language, a complex system involving many components, including sensory-motor functions and memory systems.
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Optical imaging relies on shining weak lasers through the skull to visualize brain activity. These techniques are inexpensive and relatively portable. They are also silent and safe: Because only extremely weak lasers are used, these methods can be used to study everyone, even infants.
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PET is one of the most important techniques for measuring blood flow or energy consumption in the brain. This method of measuring brain function is based on the detection of radioactivity emitted when positrons, positively charged particles, undergo radioactive decay in the brain.
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Providing a high-quality, three-dimensional image of organs and structures inside the body without X-rays or other radiation, MRIs are noninvasive and unsurpassed in the anatomical detail they show.
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Medical professionals have come to rely on even more specialized forms of the MRI machine, each suited to spotting specific warning signs.
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3D Brain

An interactive brain map that you can rotate in a three-dimensional space.