All news from Bio-Chemistry

Brain Circuits Optimize Themselves, Neuroscientists

Neuroscientists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, previously showed that synaptic learning mechanisms in the brain's cortex are dependent on feedback from deeper brain regions. They have now precisely deciphered how this feedback gates synaptic strengthening by switching on and off particular inhibitory neurons.

This study, which can be read in  Neuron, not only constitutes an important milestone in our understanding of the mechanisms for perceptual learning but may also offer insight into computerized learning systems and artificial intelligence. 

Autism: Adults Show Large Impairments in Key Cognitive Domains

The first comprehensive, systematic review and meta-analysis of adults with autism shows that despite having an intact IQ, these adults have medium to large impairments in four key social- and non-social cognitive domains: theory of mind, emotion perception and knowledge, processing speed, and verbal learning and memory. 

The results may help create a roadmap for treating autism in adults, a population that is less studied and understood than children with the condition. The meta-analysis was published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Concentration of Insecticides on Surface of Mosquito Nets Measured, New Technique

Insecticide-infused mosquito netting is in widespread use around the world to limit the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have now come up with a technique that actually measures how much insecticide is found on the surface of these nets – paving the way for efforts to determine how long the nets are effective.

Correction For Quantitative PET Imaging Using Dynamic MRI

Cardiac PET / MRI acquisition presents novel clinical applications thanks to the combination of viability and metabolic imaging (PET) and functional and structural imaging (MRI). However, the resolution of PET, as well as cardiac and respiratory motion in non-gated cardiac imaging acquisition protocols, leads to a reduction in image quality and severe quantitative bias. Respiratory or cardiac motion is usually treated with gated reconstruction which results in higher noise.