Agriculture
Watching out for vultures
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Salamanders
Toads
Animals
Fishing for Giant Squid
Mating Slows Down Prairie Dogs
Return of the Lost Limbs
Behavior
Wake Up, Sleepy Gene
A Global Warming Flap
Talking with Hands
Birds
Swans
Cranes
Doves
Chemistry and Materials
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Fog Buster
Picture the Smell
Computers
Small but WISE
The solar system's biggest junkyard
A Classroom of the Mind
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
Supersight for a Dino King
An Ancient Spider's Web
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Drilling Deep for Fuel
Weird, new ant
Life trapped under a glacier
Environment
Sea Otters, Kelp, and Killer Whales
An Ocean View's Downside
Pollution Detective
Finding the Past
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Meet your mysterious relative
Sahara Cemetery
Fish
A Jellyfish's Blurry View
Tuna
Lampreys
Food and Nutrition
How Super Are Superfruits?
Building a Food Pyramid
Sponges' secret weapon
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Mastering The GSAT Exam
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Play for Science
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Human Body
Heavy Sleep
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Hey batter, wake up!
Invertebrates
Walking Sticks
Bedbugs
Jellyfish
Mammals
Giraffes
Quolls
Great Danes
Parents
Children and Media
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Electric Backpack
Road Bumps
Plants
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Bright Blooms That Glow
Reptiles
Cobras
Pythons
Reptiles
Space and Astronomy
A Smashing Display
Burst Busters
Black Holes That Burp
Technology and Engineering
Crime Lab
Bionic Bacteria
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Middle school science adventures
Robots on the Road, Again
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Recipe for a Hurricane
A Change in Climate
Add your Article

Brain cells take a break

Scientists have long wanted to know what happens inside the human brain when deep asleep. You may be unconscious, but your brain cells are busy with activity. Neurons, brain cells that conduct electricity, keep your mind humming even while your body is resting. In a new study, a team of scientists found that neurons take breaks periodically as a person heads into deep sleep. These pauses in neuron activity help keep people asleep, even if they hear noises or are touched. Sydney Cash, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and his team found a way to study electricity in the brain, inside and out. Scientists use different tools to study electrical currents in the brain. One of the most useful is the EEG, or electroencephalogram. An EEG represents the brainís activity as a graph that looks like a long series of differently shaped waves. The height, width and closeness of those waves give scientists a peek at whatís happening in a personís head. Even though they can study the patterns, however, scientists donít know what causes the waves to form. In the study led by Cash, the researchers were interested in a particular type of EEG squiggle called a K-complex. To people who donít understand EEG patterns, a K-complex just looks like a squiggle thatís larger than the lines around it. To a trained scientist, a K-complex shows a significant change in the electrical activity in the brain. A K-complex may show up on an EEG when the sleeping person hears a noise or has his or her sleep disturbed. Or these squiggles may show up for other reasons. EEGs canít see everything, however. They only measure electric signals ó including K-complexes ó on the outside of the brain. In the new study, the scientists found a way to see even deeper into the brain. They studied patients with epilepsy, a medical condition that can cause a person to suffer from serious seizures. Epilepsy is believed to be caused by overactive neurons. In previous surgeries, the people with epilepsy had had tiny electrodes implanted deeper inside their brains. Electrodes are also used to study electrical currents, and doctors had hoped that these devices would help them identify the source of the epileptic seizures. Cash, who studies epilepsy, realized that those same electrodes could be used to study electrical activity deeper inside the brain while at the same time an EEG told the scientists what was happening on the surface. By comparing the two sets of information, the scientists thought they could better understand brain activity. They were right. While the patients slept, Cash and his team collected data from both the EEG and from the electrodes. They found that whenever the EEG showed a K-complex, there was a dip in activity inside the brain. In other words, the K-complex was a sign on the outside that neurons on the inside were taking a break. These breaks help keep people asleep. Cashís research also shows that K-complexes donít spread to the entire brain, which means that only some neurons take a break at any given time. The brain has long been one of the most mysterious parts of the human body. Studies like this one help scientists open a window onto the inner workings of our heads ó and possibly figure out how the circuitry works. Understanding how neurons behave is important, but scientists also need to know what these cells do when they're not at work. As this study shows, neurons take a break so you can too.

Brain cells take a break
Brain cells take a break








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™