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Tricking a key enzyme can soothe over-excited receptors in the brain, say neuroscientists, calling this a possible strategy against stroke, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Lead author Michel Baudry of the University of Southern California, his graduate student Wei Xu and collaborators from the University of British Columbia outline their technique in the Feb. 1 issue of Neuron.

The researchers injected laboratory mice with a decoy peptide containing a snippet of a receptor that facilitates cell death in neurodegenerative diseases.

British Petroleum announced today that it has selected the University of California, Berkeley, in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to lead an unprecedented $500 million research effort to develop new sources of energy and reduce the impact of energy consumption on the environment.

The funding will create the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), which initially will focus its research on biotechnology to produce biofuels — that is, turning plants and plant materials, including corn, field waste, switchgrass and algae, into transportation fuels.

At a press conference this morning at UC Berkeley, Robert A. (Bob) Malone, chairman and president of BP America Inc., joined California Gov.

"Time" is the most popular noun in the English language, yet how would we tell time if we didn't have access to the plethora of watches, clocks and cell phones at our disposal?

For decades, scientists have believed that the brain possesses an internal clock that allows it to keep track of time. Now a UCLA study in the Feb. 1 edition of Neuron proposes a new model in which a series of physical changes to the brain's cells helps the organ to monitor the passage of time.


The changing colors reflect how a brain cell network evolves over time in response to stimuli. (Credit: Buonomano Lab)

Instead of dismissing grumblings about being tired or exhausted, people should take these complaints seriously before they lead to a worsened health state or even death, says a University of Alberta researcher investigating fatigue.

Dr. Karin Olson, a U of A professor from the Faculty of Nursing, argues that there are differences between tiredness, fatigue and exhaustion and that recognizing those distinctions will help health-care workers create better treatment plans for their patients.