Complex physical learning may help children overcome some mental disabilities that result from prenatal alcohol consumption by their mothers, say researchers whose experiments led to increased wiring in the brains of young rats.
In their study, infant rats were exposed to alcohol during a period of brain development (especially in the cerebellum) that is similar to that of the human third trimester of pregnancy. In adulthood, the rats improved their learning skills during a 20-day regimen of complex motor training, and generated new synapses in their cerebellum.
About 0.1 percent of U.S. births involve newborns with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, characterized by a variety of physical, mental and neurological defects that often lead to behavioral, learning and mobility problems. Ten times that many children, also exposed to alcohol before birth, may not meet the diagnostic criteria for FAS but still have behavioral and brain defects that are now classified as alcohol-related developmental disorders.
Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
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Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
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Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
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