Replacing humans with robots, some encouraging news for Parkinson’s patients and turning on memory genes.

AI will be able to beat us at everything by 2060

(New Scientist, 5/31/17, Timothy Revell)

Afraid of losing your job to a robot? Well, depending on your profession, there is a strong chance that you will be out of a job in the future.  Artificial intelligence (AI) researchers are predicting that there is a 50% chance that machines will outperform humans in all tasks within 45 years.  AI will master many activities a lot sooner, though, including translating languages, writing books and surgery..  

 

Electric fields tease buried brain cells into action

(Science, 6/1/2017, Meredith Wadman)

Researchers have come up with a way to stimulate regions deep within the brain using electrodes placed on the scalp.  This is big news for the world of Parkinson’s disease research. This new approach could make deep brain stimulation noninvasive, less risky, less expensive, and more accessible to patients. Doctors also use deep brain stimulation to treat some patients with obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy, and depression, and are exploring the possibility of using it to treat other conditions such as autism. The new, noninvasive approach could make it easier to adapt deep brain stimulation to treat additional disorders

 

Metabolic Enzyme Moves “On Site” to Turn on Memory Genes

(GEN News Highlights, 5/17/2017)

People spend years and years creating memories. Wouldn’t it be nice if you never had to worry about losing those precious memories? Researchers are saying that creating a new memory and storing an old memory both involve making proteins at the space, or synapse, where one neuron meets another. Helping to fill the gap in our knowledge of synapse formation, researchers have discovered, in the mouse brain, that a key metabolic enzyme works directly within the nucleus of neurons to turn genes on or off when new memories are being established.

 

 

—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola