NFL and GE partner to study the brain

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/11/us-nfl-concussion-idUSBRE92A0UT20130311

The National Football League and GE announced a $60 million effort to speed up research into brain injuries and the development of new technologies to help protect the brain from traumatic injury to benefit athletes, the military and the broader public.

The initiative includes a $40 million research program into imaging technologies to improve diagnoses and an additional $20 million pool of funds open to researchers and businesses trying to improve the prevention, identification and management of brain injuries.

Researchers explain the goals of a new brain-mapping project

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http://www.technologyreview.com/news/512141/the-brain-activity-map/

A proposed effort to map brain activity on a large scale, expected to be announced by the White House later this month, could help neuroscientists understand the origins of cognition, perception, and other phenomena. These brain activities haven’t been well understood to date, in part because they arise from the interaction of large sets of neurons whose coordinated efforts scientists cannot currently track.

An article published Thursday in Science online expands the project’s already ambitious goals beyond just recording the activity of all individual neurons in a brain circuit simultaneously. Researchers should also  find ways to manipulate the neurons within those circuits and understand circuit function through new methods of data analysis and modeling.

Brain stimulation might help some functions and hurt others

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http://www.technologyreview.com/news/511916/brain-boosting-technique-might-help-some-functions-while-hurting-others/

Electrically stimulating the brain may improve memory, but impede with a person’s ability to react without thinking.

The approach has previously been shown to enhance various brain functions, including working memory and attention, and is being used to help stroke patients regain lost language and motor skills (see “Repairing the Stroke-Damaged Brain”). But until now, little research had been done on whether improving performance on one task would come at the detriment of others.

The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence

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http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0057873

Increased sugar consumption leads to increased diabetes prevalence. One solution is to reduce sugar consumption, but this is difficult to implement in a western diet. It is best to combine the consumption of  high fiber foods such as oatmeal, oat bran, beans and legumes with the consumption of high sugar foods.

Computer modeling may help soldiers, athletes, avoid concussions

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http://hub.jhu.edu/2013/03/07/concussion-research-impact

Johns Hopkins engineers have developed a powerful new computer-based process that helps identify the dangerous conditions that lead to concussion-related brain injuries.

Professor K.T. Ramesh led a team that used a technique called diffusion tensor imaging, together with a computer model of the head, to identify injured axons, which are tiny but important fibers that carry information from one brain cell to another. These axons are concentrated in a kind of brain tissue known as “white matter,” and they appear to be injured during the so-called mild traumatic brain injury associated with concussions. Ramesh’s team has shown that the axons are injured most easily by strong rotations of the head, and the researchers’ process can calculate which parts of the brain are most likely to be injured during a specific event.

Doctors use smartphones to save lives

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http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/01/25/doctors-see-apples-iphone-as-life-saver-in-the-future-of-medicine

A doctor recently used his iPhone, in combination with AliveCor, a mounted sensor capable of delivering clinically accurate electrocardiograms, while in flight, to measure the vital signs of a passenger experiencing severe chest pains at 30,000 feet.

The results indicated that the passenger was having a heart attack.  The doctor recommended an urgent landing, and the passenger survived after being rushed to the hospitall

NASA technology benefits cardio-pulmonary patients

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http://www.azosensors.com/news.aspx?newsID=5350

PUMA measures six components to evaluate metabolic function: oxygen and carbon dioxide partial pressure, volume flow rate, heart rate, and gas pressure and temperature. From those measurements, PUMA can compute the oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide output and minute ventilation (average expired gas flow rate). A small, embedded computer takes readings of each sensor and relays the data wirelessly to a remote computer via Bluetooth.