Findings pinpoint mechanism behind social deficits
New imaging research at UCLA detailed Dec. 4 as an advance online publication of the journal Nature Neuroscience shows children with autism have virtually no activity in a key part of the brains mirror neuron system while imitating and observing emotions.
Mirror neurons fire when a person performs a goal-directed action and while he or she observes the same action performed by others. Neuroscientists believe this observation-execution matching system provides a neural mechanism by which others actions, intentions and emotions can be understood automatically.
Symptoms of autism include difficulties with social interaction -- including verbal and nonverbal communication -- imitation and empathy. The new findings dramatically bolster a growing body of evidence pointing to a breakdown of the brains mirror neuron system as the mechanism behind these autism symptoms.
Dan Page | EurekAlert!
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
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Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
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Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
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