Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Fast-flying fungal spores
Watering the Air
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders
Poison Dart Frogs
Animals
Pothole Repair, Insect-style
Vampire Bats on the Run
Tool Use Comes Naturally to Crows
Behavior
Fear Matters
Meet your mysterious relative
Video Game Violence
Birds
Albatrosses
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Chemistry and Materials
Lighting goes digital
Sticky Silky Feet
A Light Delay
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A Light Delay
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Nonstop Robot
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Fingerprinting Fossils
Digging for Ancient DNA
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
The Rise of Yellowstone
The Pacific Ocean's Bald Spot
Sky Dust Keeps Falling on Your Head
Environment
Spotty Survival
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Finding the Past
Words of the Distant Past
A Big Discovery about Little People
A Long Haul
Fish
A Jellyfish's Blurry View
Swordfish
Eels
Food and Nutrition
Sponges' secret weapon
A Taste for Cheese
Recipe for Health
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Who vs. That vs. Which
Subject and Verb Agreement
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Play for Science
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Remembering Facts and Feelings
A Better Flu Shot
Invertebrates
Ants
Flies
Crabs
Mammals
Wolverines
Numbats
Bumblebee Bats
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
How children learn
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Gaining a Swift Lift
Electric Backpack
IceCube Science
Plants
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Nature's Alphabet
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Reptiles
Rattlesnakes
Gila Monsters
Pythons
Space and Astronomy
Unveiling Titan
Rover Makes Splash on Mars
Planning for Mars
Technology and Engineering
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
Searching for Alien Life
Algae Motors
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Pronouns
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Middle school science adventures
Where rivers run uphill
Weather
A Change in Climate
A Dire Shortage of Water
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
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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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