Throughout the world, there are many different types of people, and their identity can tell a lot about where they live. The type of job they work, the kind of car they drive, and the foods they eat can all be used to predict the country, the state, or maybe even the city a person lives in.
The brain is no different. There are many types of neurons, defined largely by the patterns of genes they use, and they “live” in numerous distinct brain regions. But researchers do not yet have a comprehensive understanding of these neuronal types and how they are distributed in the brain. Today, a team of scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) led by Professor Partha Mitra describes a new mathematical model that combines large data sets to predict where different types of cells are located within the brain, based on their molecular identity.
Scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle are using microscopy to directly observe gene activity, one at a time, in razor-thin slices of mouse brain tissue. This approach yields brain maps that are collectively known as the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas. Each individual map shows where a single gene is expressed in the brain. When multiple maps are overlaid, patterns begin to emerge that show how different regions of the brain activate specific and often discrete complements of genes. These patterns are known as “co-expression” profiles.
Elsewhere, other research groups have taken a complementary approach, harvesting a single type of neuron from the brain and profiling all of the genes that are expressed by that cell. But this data lacks the spatial component of the atlas assembled by the Allen Brain Institute.
Mitra and postdoctoral fellow Pascal Grange, Ph.D., set out to integrate these two kinds of datasets. They devised a mathematical model that does just this. “Our model is simple,” says Mitra, “but it has predictive power. If the gene expression profile of a neuronal type is measured, then the model predicts where in the brain that type of neuron can be found.”
The significance of the new model, according to Grange, is that “it enables us to now have a biological understanding of the patterns, the co-expression profiles, seen in the Allen Gene Expression Atlas of the Mouse Brain.”
As scientists continue to generate larger datasets of gene activation for neurons, this model will allow them to draw an increasingly accurate map of their distribution in the brain. The eventual goal is to gain a better understanding of how signaling between different types of neurons controls memory and cognition.
We have a toxic relationship with failure. From an early age, we are taught in school that mistakes are bad. Mistakes on papers and tests are marked with a red pen and points are taken off. As a result, school teaches us to avoid mistakes rather than to make mistakes and then learn from them.
Failures are actually brilliant opportunities to learn. It is often easier to diagnose what went wrong after a failure than to figure out the key elements that lead to a success. By avoiding failure, then, we are removing an important tool from our mental toolbox."
"It’s called reading. It’s how people install new software into their brains.” ~ Glasbergen
See on Scoop.it - The future of medicine and health
(Medical Xpress)—The human brain develops with an exquisitely timed choreography marked by distinct patterns of gene activity at different stages from the womb to adulthood, Yale researchers report in the Dec. 26 issue of the…
|Man from audience:||Sir, I would like to know what your position is on nonviolence.|
|Malcolm X:||Well, nonviolence is one of the things that has disarmed the so-called Negro here in America. And any Negro leader who teaches our people to be nonviolent in the face of the violence that we've been experiencing for the past 400 years is actually doing our people a disservice. In fact, it's a crime for any Negro leader to teach our people not to do something to protect ourselves in the face of the violence that is inflicted upon us by the white people here in America. And whenever you teach a man to turn the other check, or to be nonviolent, what you're actually doing is disarming the victim of white brutality. You're robbing him of his right to defend himself. In fact, the only time it's intelligent to be nonviolent is when you're dealing with someone else who's nonviolent. I'm nonviolent with those who are nonviolent with me. This is intelligent. But just as you see other people doing whatever is necessary to protect themselves, it's time today for the 22 million Afro-Americans to feel free to do whatever is necessary to protect ourselves. Take for an example, in the constitution it gives a person the right to own a rifle or shotgun, and in this country, where the government has proven itself either unwilling or unable to defend Black people, it is time for the Black man to stand up and start defending himself. Not to go out and initiate acts of aggression against whites or initiate acts of aggression against anyone. But in areas where we see that the government will not protect us or defend us, or find those who have brutalized us and made us the victim for the past 400 years, then it is time for us to do whatever is necessary to defend ourselves. And it should be emphasized, that by this I don't mean that we should go out and look for trouble, or start trouble, or initiate acts of aggression. But we should feel that we're within our human rights, our civil rights, and within the rights of intelligence to do whatever is necessary when we are attacked to defend ourselves. In fact, the best thing to teach our people is never to be the aggressor, never to look for trouble, but any time anyone makes any effort to brutalize us, or to inflict wounds upon us, we should feel that we are within our rights to do whatever is necessary to repel them. Do nothing unto anyone but always do whatever is necessary to keep others from doing to you which they've been doing for the past 400 years: Making us the victims of brutality.|
|Man from audience:||But is it not a fact minister, that people like Dr. Martin Luther King who have advocated nonviolence have been successful with their nonviolent moves?|
|Malcolm X:||Well, they've been successful in going to jail. They've been successful in becoming the victims of police dogs, and police clubs, and water hoses. If Dr. Martin Luther King feels that this is the best way to gain freedom, justice, and equality for our people in this country, well and good. I have no criticism of him whatsoever. But I think that the time has come now where the masses of Black people feel that nonviolence shouldn't be taught to us unless it's also taught to the white people in this country. And Black people shouldn't be taught to turn the other cheek unless the white people are taught to turn the other cheek. Now, if Dr. Martin Luther King can be so successful in disarming Negroes, they should send him to Russia and let him disarm the Russians. Let him disarm some of these other countries.|
|Man from audience:||That may sound good in philosophy, minister Malcolm, but I still have to take the stand that Dr. King has been a degree successful with the nonviolence movement. Now let's take the March on Washington for instance. Was this not something that exemplified the feeling of the Negro and made everyone very, very happy.|
|Malcolm X:||It depends on whether or not anything was gotten out of it. In fact, yes, it probably made them happy. Most of the people I saw involved in the March on Washington looked very, very, happy. In fact, they looked too happy to be involved in a Negro revolt. So that, in so far as the March on Washington producing meaningful results, most of the masses of Black people today in this year are beginning to see where nothing came of it other than the fact that it gave many of the bourgeois Negroes a chance to feel that they were doing something without really having to do anything. It became a status symbol just like going to the Kentucky Derby; it's a status symbol for those who know nothing about horses. They like to be able to say they went to the Kentucky Derby, and they can't tell a horse from a cow. Or the Rose Bowl games. They like to be able to say they went to the Rose Bowl games, and they don't know a football from a baseball. But the fact that they can say they went to the Rose bowl game is a status symbol, or the fact that they can say they went to the Kentucky Derby is a status symbol. So many Negroes took the opportunity to say that they were in the March on Washington, not that it produced anything, or not that they really felt that they were involved in a Negro revolution, but it gave them a chance to say, "I was there!" It was a status symbol. But status symbols don't take up out of the alleys, and out of the ghettos, and out of the slums. Status symbols don't remove segregated school systems. Status symbol don't get meaningful civil rights legislation. So when it comes to the March on Washington and all of these other nonviolent approaches, they were good in their day, but this is a new day, and it's a new Negro.|
|Man from audience:||But we will have to agree minister Malcolm, that the March on Washington was the forerunner to the creation of, or at least to the presentment of the civil rights bill. Without this type of approach I doubt seriously that the civil rights bill would have even been entered on to the floor.|
|Malcolm X:||A horse can enter into a race and come so far from the finish line you wont even know that horse was in the race. Since the March on Washington was designed to produce meaningful civil rights legislation, and if I recall, I heard several of the leaders of it point out that "we'll be back if the bill meets with any kind of opposition come September." They said this in August. Now, September passed and the bill didn't even come up. October passed, November passed, December passed, the year passed, everything passed, and the bill hasn't been passed yet.|
|Man from audience:||Are you saying that you feel a more violent approach to it would cause this bill to be passed-|
|Malcolm X:||It's not a case of violence. And I think that our people should never let themselves be trapped intellectually into thinking that whenever they do something to defend themselves against the violence of the white man that they're being violent.|
|Man from audience:||But you're advocating violence!-|
|Malcolm X:||No, we're advocating the necessity of Black people defending themselves against the violence of the white man because the American government has already proven itself either unable or unwilling to defend us as it should do.|
|Man from audience:||Well, the white man hasn't gone out to create any marches, nor has he gone out to do anything that would make the people in the communities feel that he was opposed by law to their thinking.|
|Malcolm X:||No, all he has done is sic his police dogs on innocent Black women and babies. All he has done is put his fire hoses on innocent Black women and children. Or all he has done is shoot Medgar Evers in the back, or he has bombed a church in Birmingham, Alabama, and murdered 4 innocent little girls, or he has shot down young boys from their bicycles as they were riding innocently through the street. That's all he has done.|
|Man from audience:||Well, you feel that this is a cause for the Negro to take on the violent acts?|
|Malcolm X:||It's not a case of the Negro taking on a violent act, but it's a case of the Negro doing what is necessary to defend himself against the violent acts of the whites since the government has refused to defend the Negro. The church was bombed and the government has done nothing about it. Medgar Evers was murdered and the government has done nothing about it. Emmett Till and Charles Mack Parker were murdered and the government has done nothing about it. But at the same time the government is in South Vietnam trying to tell them what to do. The government is in Berlin trying to tell them what to do. The government is in Africa trying to tell them what to do. But it cannot get its own people here in Mississippi, and Alabama, and New York City, and tell them what to do.|
|Man from audience:||...........|
Fear, at the right level, can increase alertness and protect against dangers. Disproportionate fear, on the other hand, can disrupt the sensory perception, be disabling, reduce happiness and therefore become a danger in itself. Anxiety disorders are therefore a psychiatric condition that should…
— Sai Baba (via nobunnyluvsyou)
Lyndsay Grant The seduction of ‘Big Data’ lies in its promise of greater knowledge. The large amounts of data created as a by-product of our digital interactions, and the increased computing capacity to analyse it offer the possibility of knowing…
Growing up in poverty can have long-lasting, negative consequences for a child. But for poor children raised by parents who lack nurturing skills, the effects may be particularly worrisome, according to a new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Among children living in poverty, the researchers identified changes in the brain that can lead to lifelong problems like depression, learning difficulties and limitations in the ability to cope with stress. The study showed that the extent of those changes was influenced strongly by whether parents were nurturing.
The good news, according to the researchers, is that a nurturing home life may offset some of the negative changes in brain anatomy among poor children. And the findings suggest that teaching nurturing skills to parents — particularly those living in poverty — may provide a lifetime benefit for their children.
The study is published online Oct. 28 and will appear in the November issue of JAMA Pediatrics.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers found that poor children with parents who were not very nurturing were likely to have less gray and white matter in the brain. Gray matter is closely linked to intelligence, while white matter often is linked to the brain’s ability to transmit signals between various cells and structures.
The MRI scans also revealed that two key brain structures were smaller in children who were living in poverty: the amygdala, a key structure in emotional health, and the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is critical to learning and memory.
“We’ve known for many years from behavioral studies that exposure to poverty is one of the most powerful predictors of poor developmental outcomes for children,” said principal investigator Joan L. Luby, MD, a Washington University child psychiatrist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “A growing number of neuroscience and brain-imaging studies recently have shown that poverty also has a negative effect on brain development.
“What’s new is that our research shows the effects of poverty on the developing brain, particularly in the hippocampus, are strongly influenced by parenting and life stresses that the children experience.”
Luby, a professor of psychiatry and director of the university’s Early Emotional Development Program, is in the midst of a long-term study of childhood depression. As part of the Preschool Depression Study, she has been following 305 healthy and depressed kids since they were in preschool. As the children have grown, they also have received MRI scans that track brain development.
“We actually stumbled upon this finding,” she said. “Initially, we thought we would have to control for the effects of poverty, but as we attempted to control for it, we realized that poverty was really driving some of the outcomes of interest, and that caused us to change our focus to poverty, which was not the initial aim of this study.”
In the new study, Luby’s team looked at scans from 145 children enrolled in the depression study. Some were depressed, others healthy, and others had been diagnosed with different psychiatric disorders such as ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). As she studied these children, Luby said it became clear that poverty and stressful life events, which often go hand in hand, were affecting brain development.
The researchers measured poverty using what’s called an income-to-needs ratio, which takes a family’s size and annual income into account. The current federal poverty level is $23,550 for a family of four.
Although the investigators found that poverty had a powerful impact on gray matter, white matter, hippocampal and amygdala volumes, they found that the main driver of changes among poor children in the volume of the hippocampus was not lack of money but the extent to which poor parents nurture their children. The hippocampus is a key brain region of interest in studying the risk for impairments.
Luby’s team rated nurturing using observations made by the researchers — who were unaware of characteristics such as income level or whether a child had a psychiatric diagnosis — when the children came to the clinic for an appointment. And on one of the clinic visits, the researchers rated parental nurturing using a test of the child’s impatience and of a parent’s patience with that child.
While waiting to see a health professional, a child was given a gift-wrapped package, and that child’s parent or caregiver was given paperwork to fill out. The child, meanwhile, was told that s/he could not open the package until the caregiver completed the paperwork, a task that researchers estimated would take about 10 minutes.
Luby’s team found that parents living in poverty appeared more stressed and less able to nurture their children during that exercise. In cases where poor parents were rated as good nurturers, the children were less likely to exhibit the same anatomical changes in the brain as poor children with less nurturing parents.
“Parents can be less emotionally responsive for a whole host of reasons,” Luby said. “They may work two jobs or regularly find themselves trying to scrounge together money for food. Perhaps they live in an unsafe environment. They may be facing many stresses, and some don’t have the capacity to invest in supportive parenting as much as parents who don’t have to live in the midst of those adverse circumstances.”
The researchers also found that poorer children were more likely to experience stressful life events, which can influence brain development. Anything from moving to a new house to changing schools to having parents who fight regularly to the death of a loved one is considered a stressful life event.
Luby believes this study could provide policymakers with at least a partial answer to the question of what it is about poverty that can be so detrimental to a child’s long-term developmental outcome. Because it appears that a nurturing parent or caregiver may prevent some of the changes in brain anatomy that this study identified, Luby said it is vital that society invest in public health prevention programs that target parental nurturing skills. She suggested that a key next step would be to determine if there are sensitive developmental periods when interventions with parents might have the most powerful impact.
“Children who experience positive caregiver support don’t necessarily experience the developmental, cognitive and emotional problems that can affect children who don’t receive as much nurturing, and that is tremendously important,” Luby said. “This study gives us a feasible, tangible target with the suggestion that early interventions that focus on parenting may provide a tremendous payoff.”
Children with poor motor performance at the school entry were found to have poorer reading and arithmetic skills than their better performing peers during the first three years of school. However, no relationship was found between cardiovascular fitness and academic skills, according to a new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
The study investigated the relationships of cardiovascular fitness and motor performance in the first grade to reading and arithmetic skills in grades 1–3 among 174 Finnish children as part of The Physical Activity and Nutrition (PANIC) Study at the University of Eastern Finland and The First Steps Study at the University of Jyväskylä. Children who performed poorly in agility, speed and manual dexterity tests and had poor overall motor performance in the first grade had lower reading and arithmetic test scores in grades 1–3 than children with better performance in motor tests. Especially children in the lowest motor performance third had poorer reading and arithmetic test scores than children in the other thirds. These associations were stronger in boys than girls. Unexpectedly, however, cardiovascular fitness was not related to academic skills.
The findings of the study highlight the importance of motor performance and movement skills over cardiovascular fitness for children’s school success during the first years of school. The academic development of children with poor motor performance should be carefully monitored and appropriate actions to support the development of reading, arithmetic and movement skills should be started when needed.
We have a toxic relationship with failure. From an early age, we are taught in school that mistakes are bad. Mistakes on papers and tests are marked...”
- Human brain development is a symphony in three movementsSee on Scoop.it - The future of medicine and health
- Malcolm X: Boston Radio Interview, June 25,1964Man from audience:Sir, I would like to know what your position is on nonviolence.Malcolm X:Well, nonviolence is one of the things that has disarmed the so-called Negro here in America. And any Negro leader who teaches our people to be nonviolent in the face of the violence that we've been experiencing for the past 400 years is actually doing our people a disservice. In fact, it's a crime for any Negro leader to teach our people not to do something to protect ourselves in the face of the violence that is inflicted upon us by the white people here in America. And whenever you teach a man to turn the other check, or to be nonviolent, what you're actually doing is disarming the victim of white brutality. You're robbing him of his right to defend himself. In fact, the only time it's intelligent to be nonviolent is when you're dealing with someone else who's nonviolent. I'm nonviolent with those who are nonviolent with me. This is intelligent. But just as you see other people doing whatever is necessary to protect themselves, it's time today for the 22 million Afro-Americans to feel free to do whatever is necessary to protect ourselves. Take for an example, in the constitution it gives a person the right to own a rifle or shotgun, and in this country, where the government has proven itself either unwilling or unable to defend Black people, it is time for the Black man to stand up and start defending himself. Not to go out and initiate acts of aggression against whites or initiate acts of aggression against anyone. But in areas where we see that the government will not protect us or defend us, or find those who have brutalized us and made us the victim for the past 400 years, then it is time for us to do whatever is necessary to defend ourselves. And it should be emphasized, that by this I don't mean that we should go out and look for trouble, or start trouble, or initiate acts of aggression. But we should feel that we're within our human rights, our civil rights, and within the rights of intelligence to do whatever is necessary when we are attacked to defend ourselves. In fact, the best thing to teach our people is never to be the aggressor, never to look for trouble, but any time anyone makes any effort to brutalize us, or to inflict wounds upon us, we should feel that we are within our rights to do whatever is necessary to repel them. Do nothing unto anyone but always do whatever is necessary to keep others from doing to you which they've been doing for the past 400 years: Making us the victims of brutality.... ...