Brain tissue kept alive for weeks with new microfluidic device


A new microfluidic device can keep tissue cultures functional for weeks on an artificial membrane

The free-energy principle explains neural network behavior


Scientists show that the free-energy principle can explain how neural networks work.

Are you “at risk” of being a habitual coffee drinker?


Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are related to dietary habits, including coffee, tea, tofu, and yogurt consumption.

Cyborg cockroaches to the rescue!


The key to this remote-controllable cyborg cockroach is a solar-cell rechargeable battery and an ultrathin flexible backpack.

Protein pileup affects social behavior through altered brain signaling


When a normal cellular cleanup process is disrupted, social behavior in mice is disrupted and they start behaving in ways that resemble human symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.

In living color: imaging the brain with synthetic bioluminescence


A new way to image the brain from outside the head using bioluminescence.

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Self-assembly of spider silk

This gut microbe might protect against diabetes and reduce insulin resistance

NEW: One-way hydrogel guides motion of tiny worms!

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Science communication symposium


Friday I participated in a small symposium that focused on science communication (for institutions in Japan). We discussed using social media as a means to self-publish wow! and amazing! research findings. Here are some of my thoughts about how useful this plays out in Japan.

The joys of computational mass spectrometry


Scientists have developed a new automated computational mass spectrometry system that can search an organism’s entire metabolome for as-yet-unknown metabolites (potential drugs).

FABP4: A preschool-aged biomarker for autism


Reduced FABP4 was found in preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder, making it a potential new biomarker for the condition.

Robotic researcher to the rescue


Masaki Watabe talks about automated robotic researchers, future robot rule, and scientific philosophy.

Gut bacteria could help overcome milk allergy


Analysis shows that some gut bacteria could help improve oral immunotherapy against milk allergy.

Proton and antiproton still seem identical


Using a novel two-particle measurement method, scientists have measured the magnetic moment of the antiproton at a precision 350 times higher than any previous measurement.

Trigger region found for epileptic absence seizures


A mouse model shows that absence seizures are triggered by faulty connections between the cortex and fast-spiking neurons in the striatum.

New lab-grown retinal sheets almost ready for clinical trials


A new retinal transplant technique works by preventing bipolar cells from maturing in lab-grown retinal sheets.

Artificial gravity protects the immune system of mice in space


Mice who experienced artificial gravity on the ISS suffered less damage to their immune system (thymus) than weightless mice did.

Green hydrogen production for fuel cells and fertilizers


A new method of water electrolysis avoids rare metals, making hydrogen production green and sustainable.

Talking science Illustration with Misaki Ouchida


Whether it’s bird anatomy or science cartoons, Masaki Ouchida can do it all. She spoke with us about her career in science illustration, from the US to Japan.