Category Archives: Research

Space Cadet or Space Brain

While no astronauts have travelled to Mars yet, and most of us won’t be travelling to Mars anytime soon, scientists at the University of California: Irvine have done extensive research on what traveling to Mars most likely will do to the human brain.

The results are a phenomenon scientists have dubbed “space brain” and the results are as much a cautionary tale as they are a sad reality.

During the extended spaceflight from Earth to Mars, astronauts will be slammed with non-stop exposure to highly energetic charged particles, and all that will most likely lead to significant long-term brain damage, cognitive impairments, and dementia.

While it’s not known for certain if this will absolutely happen, test rodents in simulated environments at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at New York’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have suffered these adverse consequences.

The study appears today in Nature’s Scientific Reports.

Scary Future Reality Revealed

Science and science fiction have just collided and become scary reality according to research in the Computer Science Department at Texas Tech University.

While hackers are becoming more and more proficient at hacking into technological systems, some are looking at EEG (electroencephalograms) authentication as user passwords.

However, research is proving that while this method is highly effective in maintaining high security, brain waves show more than just a user’s identity.  It also reveals non-authentication-centric information about the user.

In other words, it gives up medical, behavioral, and emotional information about the user as well.

Asperger’s And The Online Survey

Researchers at the University of Stirling in Britain ran an online survey where 312 people claiming to have autism — diagnosed or self-diagnosed — to determine if those on the autism spectrum are more creative than those who claim to not be on the autism spectrum are more creative when it comes to problem solving.

While those claiming to be on the spectrum offered fewer solutions to the scenarios presented, the solutions were more unusual than those of the non-autistic respondents.

The results of this survey may lead to a more scientific research study on the subject however the authors admitted to the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders that in conducting the survey as they did, the results are not conclusive.

Hope For Duchenne Families

The drug Drisapersen has been given Orphan and Fast Track status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (DFA) to be used as a potential treatment for patients suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  It was also granted Priority Review status as the drug offers major advances in the treatment of Duchenne.

It has also been granted Orphan Drug states in the European Union, Australia, and Japan.

Clinical data suggests that in treating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy early on delays the progression of the disease.  To date, in fifty trial sites in twenty-five countries, patient retention rates averaged 96% across all drisapersen clinical studies.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is considered a rare disease.  It is an inheritable and fatal childhood disease that affects 1 in 3,500 newborn boys.  Most sufferers are in wheelchairs before the age of 12.