DURHAM, N.C. – Researchers at Duke University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School have identified a mechanism that explains why some mutations can be disease-causing in one genome but benign in another.
This composite image from the lab of Scott Soderling in Cell Biology shows both the behavior and structure of a protein called WRP that occurs almost exclusively in neurons. Tagged green, the protein homes in on slender, red-labeled dendrites on the receiving end of a neuron. A computer-rendered model at the center of the image shows the structure of the portion of WRP that binds to the surface of the dendrite.
For the past 17 years, neurosurgeons have implanted electrodes into the brains of persons with Parkinson’s disease to deliver a constant barrage of electric impulses. For many patients, the treatment known as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) immediately relieves the motor impairment caused by the disease.
Unfortunately, nobody really knows why.
An international team of scientists led by Duke University researchers has uncovered key structural differences in the brains of parrots that may explain the birds' unparalleled ability to imitate sounds and human speech.
Reported June 24 in Plos One, these brain structures had gone unrecognized in studies published over the last 34 years. The results also may lend insight into the neural mechanisms of human speech.
The saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" may not hold up to scientific scrutiny.
After the plains of southern Kenya experienced a severe drought in 2009 that took a terrible toll on wildlife, researchers looked at how 50 wild baboons coped with the drought, and whether the conditions they faced in infancy played a role.
The semi-arid savanna of southern Kenya usually receives an average of 14 inches of rain a year--akin to much of Nebraska or Kansas--but in 2009 it fell to five inches, less than the Mojave Desert.
DURHAM, N.C. – Scientists at Duke Medicine have produced a 3-D map of the human brain stem at an unprecedented level of detail using MRI technology.
In a study to be published June 3 in Human Brain Mapping, the researchers unveil an ultra high-resolution brain stem model that could better guide brain surgeons treating conditions such as tremors and Parkinson’s disease with deep brain stimulation (DBS).
The new 3-D model could eliminate risky trial-and-error as surgeons implant electrodes — a change akin to trading an outdated paper road atlas for a real-time GPS.
By Ken Kingery
A startup company based on technology invented at Duke University is working to make blood glucose measurement as easy as exhalation—and end the need to draw blood.
The idea is the brainchild of Ryan McCormick, a recent PhD graduate from Duke’s Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering (ECE), who spent the past five years working on the underlying technology as his thesis.
There’s no question that getting older means getting sicker. Conditions can be relatively minor and manageable – high blood pressure – or severe and complicated – dementia. It’s clear, though. A person who lives long enough will develop some type of ailment.
But, what if science could put a stopper in aging or at least put the brakes on a little? A group of researchers in the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) at Duke University is working on doing just that, asking whether there’s a link between genetics and the likelihood a disease will strike an individual in the future.
Nerve fibers of the corpus callosum -- the big data cable linking both sides of the human brain -- are colored like an exotic caterpillar in this image from a recent paper in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The "fight or flight" response blamed for some of our modern ills was a great thing, back in the day.
This automatic physiological response to stress pumps the hormone cortisol through your veins, rapidly shutting down your immune system and redirecting resources to your muscles and brain to give you the extra energy to fight or outrun the unseen threat.
It surely enabled our ancestors to hunt their dinners without becoming dinner themselves.