Agriculture
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Getting the dirt on carbon
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Amphibians
Salamanders and Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Toads
Animals
Eyes on the Depths
Monkey Math
Blotchy Face, Big-Time Wasp
Behavior
Mice sense each other's fear
Wake Up, Sleepy Gene
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
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Robins
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Ospreys
Chemistry and Materials
Sweeeet! The Skinny on Sugar Substitutes
These gems make their own way
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
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Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Electronic Paper Turns a Page
Computers with Attitude
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Feathered Fossils
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Life trapped under a glacier
On the Trail of America's Next Top Scientists
Island of Hope
Environment
A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Finding the Past
Stonehenge Settlement
Sahara Cemetery
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Fish
Perches
Puffer Fish
Manta Rays
Food and Nutrition
The Color of Health
Yummy bugs
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
Math Naturals
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Losing with Heads or Tails
Human Body
Gut Germs to the Rescue
Dreaming makes perfect
Nature's Medicines
Invertebrates
Beetles
Tapeworms
Ticks
Mammals
Yorkshire Terriers
Cornish Rex
Opposum
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
How children learn
Physics
The Particle Zoo
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Electric Backpack
Plants
Flower family knows its roots
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Farms sprout in cities
Reptiles
Caimans
Komodo Dragons
Cobras
Space and Astronomy
Intruder Alert: Sweeping Space for Dust
Slip-sliding away
Return to Space
Technology and Engineering
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Beyond Bar Codes
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Revving Up Green Machines
Where rivers run uphill
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
Catching Some Rays
Recipe for a Hurricane
Arctic Melt
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The Electric Brain

It sounds like a miracle: A man with severe brain damage regained the ability to talk, eat, and move after doctors implanted an electrical device deep inside his brain. Since suffering a brain injury 6 years ago, the man had barely responded to the world around him. He couldn't eat, so tubes delivered nutrients to his body. When asked yes-no questions, he sometimes moved his eyes and thumbs, but his responses were not consistent. During a 10-hour operation, neurosurgeon Ali Rezai put two devices called electrodes deep within the center of patient's brain, in an area called the thalamus. Shaped like a walnut, the thalamus serves as the brain's "grand central station," says Rezai. It helps signals travel between the brain and the body's sensory organs, such as the eyes, skin, and tongue. Electrodes transmit electric currents. Rezai and colleagues proposed that transmitting currents deep in the brain would make the thalamus more active. And firing up the thalamus, they suspected, would wake up the whole brain. "We're essentially jump-starting the brain," Rezai says. Still, the doctors didn't know for sure if the treatment would help the patient. It didn't take them long to find out. Immediately after the surgery, the man opened his eyes and began responding to voices. Over 6 months, his doctors turned the electrical stimulation on and off to see what effects it was having. The patient never knew if the implanted device was on or not. These repeated tests proved that the patient's improvements were due to the stimulation of currents transmitted by the electrodes. The man remains severely disabled. His muscles are extremely weak from years of disuse. Still, he can do some of the motions involved in brushing his teeth and drinking from a cup, which he could not do before. The doctors now plan to test deep-brain electrodes on 11 more patients who also have severe brain damage. The results, they hope, will be just as encouraging.—Emily Sohn

The Electric Brain
The Electric Brain








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