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Encoding asymmetry within neural circuits

Genetic and environmental factors control morphological and functional differences between the two sides of the nervous system. Neural asymmetries are proposed to have important roles in circuit physiology, cognition and species-specific behaviours. We propose two fundamentally different mechanisms for encoding left–right asymmetry in neural circuits. In the first, asymmetric circuits share common
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Deciphering the mechanism underlying late-onset Alzheimer disease

Drug development efforts for late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) have met with disappointing results. Krstic and Knuesel argue for a re-evaluation of pathological mechanisms underlying the disease, with a shift of focus away from amyloid-β as the key therapeutic target. Through integration of their own research with the wider literature, they present a model that places inflammation and impairments
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Long-term modification of cortical synapses improves sensory perception

Synapses and receptive fields of the cerebral cortex are plastic. However, changes to specific inputs must be coordinated within neural networks to ensure that excitability and feature selectivity are appropriately configured for perception of the sensory environment. The authors induced long-lasting enhancements and decrements to excitatory synaptic strength in rat primary auditory cortex by pairing
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Evolution of Human Intellect: Human-Specific Regulation of Neuronal Genes

A new study published November 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology has identified hundreds of small regions of the genome that appear to be uniquely regulated in human neurons. These regulatory differences distinguish us from other primates, including monkeys and apes, and as neurons are at the core of our unique cognitive abilities, these features may ultimately hold the key to our intellectual
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The retina as a window to the brain—from eye research to CNS disorders

The eye is an extension of the CNS in terms of its development and anatomy, and in terms of its dialogue with the immune system. Many neurodegenerative disorders of the brain and spinal cord have manifestations in the eye, which are often evident before the emergence of clinical neurological symptoms. London et al. highlight how investigation of the eye represents a noninvasive approach to the detection
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A prefrontal cortex–brainstem neuronal projection that controls response to behavioural challenge

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to participate in high-level control of the generation of behaviours (including the decision to execute actions); indeed, imaging and lesion studies in human beings have revealed that PFC dysfunction can lead to either impulsive states with increased tendency to initiate action, or to amotivational states characterized by symptoms such as reduced activity, hopelessness
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Evolution of genetic and genomic features unique to the human lineage

Given the unprecedented tools that are now available for rapidly comparing genomes, the identification and study of genetic and genomic changes that are unique to our species have accelerated, and we are entering a golden age of human evolutionary genomics. Here the authors provide an overview of these efforts, highlighting important recent discoveries, examples of the different types of human-specific
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Neutralino excluded up to ~250 GeV

The neutralino is excluded up to ~250 GeV.At the Hadron Collider Physics Symposium 2012 hosted by Kyoto University, the new CMS results were reported.
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Higgs results updated with 7 sigma

Significance of Higgs particle has been up to 7 sigma now.The Hadron Collider Physics Symposium 2012 hosted by Kyoto University, The new CMS results were reported.
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Studying genomic processes at the single-molecule level: introducing the tools and applications

To understand genomic processes such as transcription, translation or splicing, we need to be able to study their spatial and temporal organization at the molecular level. Single-molecule approaches provide this opportunity, allowing researchers to monitor molecular conformations, interactions or diffusion quantitatively and in real time in purified systems and in the context of the living cell. This
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