Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Art of the Brain

Ian Chant recently blogged about a "Brain-Art Competition," designed to help "recognize the beauty and creativity of artistic renderings emerging from the neuroimaging community."

Contest categories included: Best 3-Dimensional Brain Rendering, Best Representation of the Human Connectome, Best Abstract Brain Illustration, and Best Humorous Brain Illustration.

Some great images in here. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Urine makes a comeback!

In the 1650s, it wasn't unheard of for doctors to diagnose disease based on observations of a patient's urine. What, exactly, were those doctors observing using the tools of the times? I'm not sure. However, recent research indicates that urine might be a better indicator than blood (today's standard) to diagnose diseases such as cancers and neurodegenerative disorders.

Using high-resolution Fourier transform mass spectrometry on urine samples collected from healthy subjects, researchers detected 1823 proteins (671 of which had never been previously reported in urine. Ninety percent of these were identified for the first time).

Akhilesh Pandey, who led the research team, says:
We have been able to identify some novel proteins which have implications in important diseases...These proteins are cathepsin L2 (CTSL2) linked to chronic kidney disease, sialyltransferase 1 (ST6GAL1) for acute childhood leukemia, insulin like growth factor binding protein 4 (IGFBP4) for prostate,ovarian and gastrointestinal cancers, mucin-like 1(MUCL1) for breast cancer, and neurocan (NCAN) for bipolar disorder.

To read the complete story, see Urine holds clue to deadly cancers.