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Showing posts from January 31, 2017

Paralyzed patients communicate thoughts via brain-computer interface

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have developed a brain-computer interface that reads the brain's blood oxygen levels and enables communication by deciphering the thoughts of patients who are totally paralyzed and unable to talk. In a trial of the system in four patients with complete locked-in syndrome - incapable of moving even their eyes to communicate - it helped them use their thought waves to respond yes or no to spoken questions. If all eye movements are lost, the condition is referred to as complete locked-in syndrome.


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Texas mulls changing science standards questioning evolution

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Board of Education is hearing arguments over changing state science curriculums that critics say are designed to challenge the theory of evolution and leave students wondering whether a higher power created the universe.

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How Winter Weather May Affect Hospital Admissions

Winter weather can come with a slew of health risks, ranging from heart problems to injuries from slips and falls, but those slick and snowy days can also keep people from getting to the hospital. In a new study from Boston hospitals, researchers found that hospitals admissions vary on snowy days, decreasing for certain conditions, such as heart problems, while increasing for others, such as frostbite. "With global climate change, major snowstorms may become more frequent and severe," lead study author Jennifer Bobb, a biostatistician at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, said in a statement.


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Brain-Stimulating Activities May Keep Seniors Sharp

Elderly adults who use a computer or engage in other brain-stimulating activities may reduce their risk of developing memory and thinking problems later in life, a new study suggests. The study found that U.S. adults ages 70 or older who engaged in mentally stimulating activities at least once or twice a week were less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment four years later, compared with those who did not engage in mentally stimulating activities as frequently. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition in which people experience noticeable declines in their memory and thinking skills, but are still able to perform everyday activities.


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LSD May Help Reveal What Makes Music Meaningful

There's a good chance that there's a song that is particularly meaningful to you, and a new small study from Switzerland may explain what makes things we experience, including music, meaningful. In the study, researchers asked people to take the drug lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, and then were able to pinpoint how people's brains ascribed meaning to specific factors, such as songs, in their environment. It turns out that this connection to meaning may involve certain areas of the brain that previous research has tied to how people experience their sense of self, the researchers said.


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