Gene Therapy Combats Parkinson's

Gene therapy for Parkinson's disease has moved a step closer to acceptance in the wake of its first successful double-blind clinical trial. A special enzyme removes symptoms of the disease.

When the enzyme GAD is injected into the brain of a patient with Parkinson's, the production of a neurotransmitter relieves the patient's symptoms. "Typically, people with Parkinson's produce too little GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), and consequently have overstimulation in an area of the brain called the subthalamic nucleus. This overactivity in turn puts strain on neurons that produce another neurotransmitter—dopamine—which is vital for movement control. This helps explain some of the symptoms of Parkinson's, which include tremors, sluggish movements, rigid muscles and impaired posture and balance."

Car culture and suburbs grow right-wing populism, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less