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Better Memory Through Chemistry
Dr Arancio is a cellular neurobiologist who has contributed to the characterization of the mechanisms of learning in both normal conditions and during neurodegenerative diseases. During the past decade he has pioneered the field of mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Arancio’s laboratory has focused primarily on events triggered by amyloid protein. These studies, which have suggested new links between synaptic dysfunction and amyloid protein, are of a general relevance to the field of Alzheimer’s disease both for understanding the etiopathogenesis of the disease and for developing therapies aiming to improve the cognitive symptoms.
Question: What factors affect our memory?
Ottavio Arancio: One of the biggest factors that can affect it is attention for instance. I mean if you do not pay attention to something it’s very likely that you will learn what you have… yeah, what you just saw. For instance, just to make an example I bet that many people… many of us remember what we did on September 11 because you know there was a coincidence of just we paid particular attention to all what happened that day. I bet that much less people will remember what happened the day before or 2 days before. So that’s… attention is also… is very, very important. Another factor that is very important would be motivation to… If you don’t care about doing something you will not learn about it if you are depressed or things like that, you will not learn what you just saw, what you just did. You will not memorize what you just did. Obviously you need to be able to perceive the stimulus. If you cannot see, no way that you will remember or if you do not hear you cannot remember words. So we need to be able to get to those things. This is stuff that we…help remembering. Obviously those are not the only things because we can monitor also through chemicals and other ways also memories and hopefully in the future we’ll be even better at that. So we can also stimulate memory chemically.
Question: How do memory enhancing chemicals work?
Ottavio Arancio: What they do, they will work at the level of the synaptic connection and since at the time of memory there is a chain of chemical reaction at the level of the synapse, but chemical means the same…protein, enzyme, molecule are activated. What we do, we kind of force the system activation through this chemical and through the knowledge of these chemicals to enhance memory, and we do this very well in animals and hopefully we’ll be able to do it in people as well.
Question: What chemicals can do this?
Ottavio Arancio: There are many chemicals that one can use to enhance memory and there are many proteins that are relevant to the process of learning and memory. For instance, all chemicals that act on a particular gene by the name of CREB that they stimulate this gene and they can do in several different ways, are all molecules that in animals work quite well at enhancing memory.
Question: Are these chemicals available now?
Ottavio Arancio: No, they are. They are available, but we can give an extra additional amount. What we do with these chemicals, we take advantage of knowledge of what normally happens in nature and we little bit push in this. Aiding disease is even easier because sometimes if in disease we find out one of these chemicals is less in lower amount than what it would be normally we just help the process by giving it artificially.
Simply paying attention can do a lot to improve recollection, but scientists are also working on a wide variety of memory-boosting drugs.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.