Science: New Research Into Diseases Of The Brain

Take an animated look inside the neuron, and learn how scientists are addressing brain disease. With approximately 86 billion neurons in the brain, humans contain the most complex communications network imaginable. To address diseases of brain development and degeneration, neuroscientists are investigating how and why this network breaks down, and what can be done to repair it.

One area of study is dendrites, which are the tree-like structures of neurons, that receive electrical impulses. Researchers are carefully mapping out brain circuits and uncovering how connectivity changes can result in defects of the visual system or behavioral problems. The core section of the neuron is the cell body. Genetic engineering tools are revealing how mutations impact brain development and contribute to autism spectrum disorder or rare, inherited forms of neurological disease.

The transmission of nerve impulses occurs along the axon, which is insulated, much like an electrical wire, by a fatty layer called the myelin sheath. Scientists have invented a medicine to stop the immune system from mistakenly attacking this layer, which occurs during multiple sclerosis. Other molecules currently in development instruct the body to regenerate the sheath and repair damage. The axon also transports valuable cellular cargo, such as neurotransmitters, along tracks from one end of the neuron to the other.

Researchers are testing drug candidates for their ability to remove molecular traffic jams when this transport system fails, as often occurs in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The axon terminals make connections called synapses with other cells, using neurotransmitters as signals. Some scientists are evaluating how finely tuning the receptors for these chemicals could ease depression and anxiety.

Others are finding ways to promote the regrowth of lost synapses, which could halt neurodegeneration. From genetics to behavior, neuroscience is accelerating new interventions for the most challenging disorders of the nervous system.

Learn more: https://www.scripps.edu/

Australian Home Design: Mosman House In Sydney

On a steep slope in Mosman, on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, TKD Architects were asked not just to design a six-bedroom family home that took advantage of the views, but also to take charge of the interior architecture and styling – from the furniture and flooring right down to the artwork, bedding and even the cutlery. All their Shanghai-based clients needed to do was unlock the door and walk into their completely finished home.

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Drought: How Las Vegas Conserves So Much Water

As severe drought in the West forces states to make drastic water cuts, Las Vegas offers a road map to making the most out of every drop of water. Since 2002, Southern Nevada has cut its Colorado River water use by 26% while its population has grown by 750,000.

Analysis: Saudi Arabia’s Hyper-Planned “Line City”

The Line is a proposed smart linear city in Saudi Arabia in Neom, Tabuk, currently under construction, which is designed to have no cars, streets or carbon emissions.

 The Line is being described as a one-building vertical city outfitted with exterior mirrors, big enough to house 9 million people — along with everything they need, from parks and waterfalls to flying taxis and robot maids. There are even plans to include an artificial moon for residents to gaze upon.

With its proposed width of only 656 feet, The Line will rely primarily on its height to encompass its residents and a host of modern trappings, such as a high-speed rail to connect sections of the 106-mile city. Saudi Arabian officials claim The Line will be otherwise devoid of roads, cars or emissions and will be powered strictly by clean energy (although details have not been released). Here are a few of most notable proposed features of The Line:

  • vertically layered homes, offices, public parks and public schools.
  • year-round climate control of all indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • high-speed rail that will transport residents from end-to-end in 20 minutes.
  • a five-minute walk to all amenities.
  • accessibility to parks and natural elements within a two-minute walk.

Preview: Foreign Policy Magazine – Fall 2022

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The Solution to the Global Food Crisis Isn’t More Food

There’s plenty to go around, but it’s going to the wrong places.

Africa Needs More, Not Less, Fertilizer

Developing countries need to boost their yields, even if that conflicts with climate goals.

How the World’s Appetite for Meat Is Changing

Who’s eating more, and who’s eating less.

Foreign Policy Magazine Website

Walking Tours: Positano On The Amalfi Coast, Italy

Positano is the most famous and iconic village, the pearl of the Amalfi Coast, the spectacular strip of coastline with the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea to one side and the peaks of the Lattari Mountains to the other.

 It lies in the ravine of the Mulini Valley, along the Gulf of Salerno, southeast of Naples. Although it was known in the 4th century, Amalfi was of little importance until the mid-6th century under the Byzantines. As one of the first Italian maritime republics in the 9th century, it rivaled Pisa, Genoa, Venice, and Gaeta as a naval power in trade with the East. Subdued and annexed by King Roger II of Sicily in 1131, it was sacked by the Pisans in 1135 and 1137 and rapidly declined in importance, although its maritime code, the Tavola Amalfitana (“Table of Amalfi”), was recognized in the Mediterranean until 1570.

Opinion: World Economy Woes, Elon Musk’s Might, Vaccine Fears Allayed

A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the outlook for the world economy, how worried you should be about Elon Musk’s superpowers (12:50), and a study allays fears that covid vaccines harm menstrual cycles (16:50). 

Front Page: The New York Times – October 11, 2022

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Putin Unleashes Barrage of Missiles on Ukrainian Civilian Areas

The Russian president tied the attack to a bombing of the bridge to Crimea, and vowed that more strikes would follow if Russian targets were hit again.

With Attacks on Ukraine, Putin Gives Hard-Liners What They Wanted

A sharp shift toward deadly strikes signaled that domestic pressure over Russia’s flailing war effort had escalated to the point where Vladimir Putin felt a decisive show of force was necessary.

‘Our Bubble Has Been Burst’: Older Storm Victims Face an Uncertain Future

Retirees displaced by Hurricane Ian confront a wrenching situation: At their age, remaking the lives they loved so much in Florida may not be possible.