Tag Archives: human

Detection of Alzheimer’s disease with a digital pen

Drawing of people in different conditions (Source: MIT News)
Drawing of people in different conditions (Source: MIT News)

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that is similar to senile dementia except that it begins in the later stages of life, usually after 40 years. Among the first signs and symptoms of the disease are impaired memory along with impaired thought and speech. However, these signs and symptoms appear after a significant damage to the brain.

This disease (along with many other psychiatric problems such as Parkinson’s) can be detected by doctors and experts with the help of drawing and/or writing. However, doctor’s or expert’s opinion matter a lot in detection of such problems, and these problems become apparent only when the patient has already advanced to serious conditions. Without an expert’s opinion, it is difficult to confirm the problem.

Recently, MIT researchers have developed a digital pen that is attached to a custom tracking software. This digital pen can help in finding the condition in early stages by knowing not only what the person draws but also how he/she draws an image or diagram. A simple fact is that healthy people spend more time in thinking, whereas people with memory problems spend a lot more time in thinking and patients of Parkinson’s disease struggle with the process of drawing.

Sources:

MIT News (http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/could-pen-change-how-we-diagnose-brain-function-0813)

Souillard-Mandar et al. (2015). Learning Classification Models of Cognitive Conditions from Subtle
Behaviors in the Digital Clock Drawing Test MLJ

Life on places other than the Earth

Finding life on other planets (Credit: Aaron Landry/Flickr)

“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying” (Arthur C. Clarke)

Life on Earth is a common thing. Life on clouds and in water looks interesting. And life on places other than the Earth (extraterrestrial life) looks…ummmm…possible. In this article, I will try to note some information ranging from hypothesis to scientific information related to the life on places other than Earth. Continue reading Life on places other than the Earth

How to feel older and/or worse?

Old man hands (Photo source: The Guardian)
Old man hands (Photo source: The Guardian)

 

Growing with time and becoming old is a common phenomenon. Every person grows older with time, but some people may have the wish to grow old faster. So, this article is for those people. On the contrary, if you want to feel young and good, do the opposite as mentioned in this article. Continue reading How to feel older and/or worse?

Hereditary disease genes found throughout the human body

Hereditary disease genes found throughout the human body (Credit: Victoria Pickering/Flickr)
Hereditary disease genes found throughout the human body (Credit: Victoria Pickering/Flickr)

Main Point:

A new study published in PLOS Computational Biology shows that genes associated with hereditary diseases occur throughout the human body.

Study Further:

The study, by Esti Yeger-Lotem et al., used network biology to model the interactions between proteins associated with diseases such as Parkinson’s in different tissues. Using these networks, they show that proteins carrying the disease are found throughout the body.

In tissues vulnerable to hereditary diseases, the networked proteins had unique interactions relevant for the mechanism of the disease. Disease causing genes tend to be more highly expressed. The authors demonstrated through several examples that tissue-specific protein interaction can highlight disease mechanisms, and thus, owing to their small number, provide a powerful filter for interrogating the origins of disease.

These results offer a powerful filter that can enhance the search for new therapeutic targets for many hereditary diseases.

Reference:

Barshir R, Shwartz O, Smoly IY, Yeger-Lotem E (2014) Comparative Analysis of Human Tissue Interactomes Reveals Factors Leading to Tissue-Specific Manifestation of Hereditary Diseases. PLoS Comput Biol 10(6): e1003632. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003632 http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info:doi/pcbi.1003632 Continue reading Hereditary disease genes found throughout the human body

Language ‘evolution’ may shed light on human migration out-of-Beringia

Main Point:

New analysis reveals relationship between Siberian, North American languages.

Published in:

PLOS ONE

Study Further:

Evolutionary analysis applied to the relationship between North American and Central Siberian languages may indicate that people moved out from the Bering Land Bridge, with some migrating back to central Asia and others into North America, according to a paper published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on March 12, 2014 by Mark Sicoli, from Georgetown University and Gary Holton from University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Continue reading Language ‘evolution’ may shed light on human migration out-of-Beringia