Scientists have achieved critical insight into the size of neural connections, putting the memory capacity of the brain far higher than common estimates. The new work also answers a longstanding question as to how the brain is so energy efficient and could help engineers build computers that are incredibly powerful but also conserve energy.
Bioengineers and cognitive scientists have developed the first portable, 64-channel wearable brain activity monitoring system that's comparable to state-of-the-art equipment found in research laboratories.
Scientists have discovered that a metabolic pathway previously only suggested to be functional in photosynthetic organisms is actually a major pathway and can enable efficient conversion of carbon dioxide to organic compounds.
Biophysicists have developed a hypothesis to explain the function of a light-driven protein which pumps sodium ions across a cell membrane, and they have revealed the key structural feature of these pumps. The scientists see these sodium pumps as being highly promising tools in using light signals to control nerve cells - which is exactly what is involved in the new scientific field of optogenetics.
Thanks to a new method for making interspecies yeast hybrids in the lab, the makers of beer, wine, biofuels and other products that depend on yeasts may soon have many more strains of the microorganism to work with.
Chemical engineers and neuroscientists have developed a new way to classify neurons by labeling and imaging the proteins found in each cell. This type of imaging offers clues to each neuron's function and should help in mapping the human brain, the researchers say.