Child Brain Development & Trauma

first_imgBy Rachel Dorman, MS & Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT[Flickr, Aiden happily playing by Mike Porcenaluk, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 23, 2015A child’s brain is rapidly developing from birth through the first few years of age. In fact, during this time period the right brain is in a critical stage of development and is highly susceptible to negative impacts brought about by relational trauma [1]. Relational trauma typically involves experiencing family violence, sexual abuse, chronic illness or family separation [2]. Today’s post highlights the findings of Dr. Allen N. Schore, clinical faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. In his recently published work (2013) Dr. Schore discusses previous research regarding the impacts of relational trauma on children’s brain development and how children are able to regulate the stress of trauma.Dr. Schore (2013) explains that a child’s right brain, including the limbic system  and cortical system, is rapidly growing during the first few years of life. Consistent caregiving is needed for a child to develop normal attachment which helps foster healthy right brain development. When a child endures relational trauma from the primary caregiver during these years there is a probability of impacting the child’s brain development.Dr. Schore poses that trauma occurring between the caregiver and child ruptures the child’s attachment, causing the relationship to be unpredictable for the child. When relational traumas occur for children, one short-term effect that can be found is hyperarousal, or frantic distress. This can cause the brain to secrete a major stress hormone, corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) which leads to elevated heart rate, respiration, and crying followed by screaming. As the relational trauma continues to occur and a pattern is set, children tend to show signs of disassociation and hypo-arousal, (low arousal) which leads to children’s body’s shutting down metabolic activity and the heart rate decreasing. In addition, the child can become immobilized with a non-responsive stare. These stressful events leave an imprint on the stress-sensitive cortical and limbic regions of the brain, which can impact the child’s ability to regulate stress later in life.Professionals working with military families can benefit from understanding the impacts of relational traumas on children’s brain development. It is critical to be aware of the signs and damaging impact of relational trauma in young children not only to advocate for healthy home environments but also to help prevent children’s exposure to future relational trauma. Knowing the risks and being able to identify a child in distress could have a lifelong impact on their brain development.References[1] Schore, A. (2013). Relational trauma, brain development, and dissociation. In Ford, J., & Courtois, C. (Eds.), Treating complex traumatic stress disorders in children and adolescents (3-23). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.[2] “Children and Relational Trauma.” (2004). Ackerman Institute for the Family. Retrieved February 13, 2014.This post was written by Rachel Dorman, M.S. and Kacy Mixon, PhD, LMFT.  Both are members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

Color Grading Quick Tip: Keyframing In DaVinci Resolve

first_imgFor most colorists, keyframing isn’t the most enjoyable part of the coloring process. However, DaVinci has one tool that can make keyframing your footage a whole lot easier.Images from Blackmagic DesignIf you’re working DaVinci Resolve, then chances are you’re key framing on a daily basis. You might be using keyframes to make basic adjustments with your grade or to shift around your power windows, adjust masks, etc. and there’s no denying that keyframes are a very necessary part of the process for any Resolve colorist. However, so many colorists (especially more amateur ones) are manually adjusting their keyframes and spending far too much time adjusting them than they need to.While some colorists come from a visual effects background and are very familiar with keyframing through their use of Adobe After Effects or other similar software, many colorists are former (or current) editors. While editors usually have a basic understanding of keyframing, there is a tendency for them to do things the slow way when it comes to this aspect of the craft.As it pertains to DaVinci Resolve, the most common type of keyframe that most colorists use is the ‘dynamic keyframe’, which allows Resolve to interpret in between two keyframes. For example, if you want to have a gradual amount of blue seep into your footage, you could use two dynamic keyframes to represent the different color points, and Resolve will then interpret the fade for you.While that seems easy enough, what about scenarios where your shot is more complex? Let’s say you need to adjust your grade (or window) very frequently in a shot, and don’t want to constantly stop to add another keyframe manually by right clicking and selecting ‘add dynamic keyframe’. Well there’s a very simple solution, and it’s right on your keyframe window.On the window next to the ‘lock track’ icon, there is a small keyframe icon as seen in this image below:When selected, every change you make in your color session automatically creates a new keyframe within DaVinci Resolve. This a small but very powerful feature. It can speed up your grading sessions immensely, especially where lots of windows or specific grades are needed. So if you do a lot of keyframing in DaVinci Resolve, then definitely turn on the auto-keyframe tool whenever you can. You’ll thank yourself when your day finishes on the earlier side.Looking for a few more DaVinci Resolve tips and tutorials? Here you go!DaVinci Resolve Workflow: How to Prep for a Color SessionDaVinci Resolve Workflow Roundtrip BreakdownTips for Coloring Talking Head Interviews in DaVinci ResolveGot any keyframing tips and techniques to share? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Choosing Your Preferred Method of Being Rejected

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now My friend Amy wrote this post. Her post inspired this post.Some people hate cold calling. They say that they hate being shut down. They hate being rejected. They want to prospect using some method in which they won’t be told no and won’t be rejected.So these cold-call-avoiders switch their effort from dialing to other prospecting methods they believe will be easier, more effective, and won’t come with the hard dose of reality that is not having anything really valuable to offer (the most common root cause of being rejected). But in doing so, they are choosing some other form of rejection.Here is some pure, unadulterated truth for those who want it, need it, and are big enough to take it.Your Personal RejectionWhen you send an email asking for an appointment or checking in and nothing comes back, you have been rejected. Your dream client can much more easily click the button that deletes your email than they can dismiss you on the telephone. But the end result is the same: you made no progress.When you connect with your dream client on the social media sites and connect with people without asking them for a commitment of time, you have been rejected. The barriers to connect on social sites are very low. But if you haven’t scheduled an appointment, the end result is the same as if you had called and been rejected.When you rely only on inbound marketing and your dream client stumbles upon your site, takes a quick look around, and bails without having filled out your lead collection form or downloading your white paper, you have been rejected. The result of that visit was a giant goose egg.Can You Handle the Truth?If you avoid picking up the phone, the truth is that you have two problems.The first problem is that you are too sensitive. You don’t like to feel the rejection because you are attaching too much meaning to it. You’re taking it personal. Business is personal, but this rejection has nothing to do with you. Your dream client has been burned agreeing to meet with salespeople who created no value. She rejects almost everyone. Which is a nice segue into your second problem: value creation.If you don’t want to be rejected, you have to differentiate yourself by focusing your prospecting message on the value you can create for your dream client. If you ask for a commitment from your dream client, especially the commitment for time to explore an opportunity, that pitch needs to come with a strong sales call value proposition. Your dream client needs to know what she is getting out of it.Until you learn not to have any feelings about the rejection that comes with cold calling and learn how to make your message about value, you can choose to take your rejection in whatever form that best suits you. But you won’t improve your sales results by avoiding making your calls.QuestionsWhat is your preferred method for being rejected?Is it better when your rejection doesn’t feel personal, when you don’t have to hear it?How do you feel about having your emails ignored? Is that an easier form of rejection?What would you have to change to feel different about making your calls and dealing with “no?”last_img read more

The Hustler’s Playbook: On Con Artists

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now My brother, Jake, just told me a story from Doyle Brunson’s biography.There was a guy Doyle played poker with back in the old days. This poker buddy’s friend drove a fruit truck. The two of them got together and counted all the watermelons one day. Later, as this poker player was hanging around with his gambling buddies, his friend pulled up in the truck. The poker player suggested to his gambling buddies that they should bet on who could come closest to guessing the total number of watermelons in the truck.Of course, the poker player knew exactly how many watermelons were in the truck. He collected $500, and later split it with the driver.The poker player is not a hustler. He is a con artist, a con man.Hustling is about putting forth the effort. It’s about acting with urgency. It’s about finding a way to create value and, yes, it is also about capturing some of that value.Hustling isn’t about cheating someone. That’s the opposite of hustling. That’s trying to find a way to capture value without creating any for the other party. That’s stealing.Hustling isn’t about looking for an unfair advantage. It’s not about trying to gain a competitive advantage by being dishonest. It’s about gaining an advantage that seems unfair by working harder than anyone else would.Hustling isn’t about deceit. It’s about caring more than anyone else would dare and earning the trust on which lifetime relationships are built.Con artists cheat. Con men are deceitful and dishonest. Hustlers hustle. And a hustler will out-perform, outlast, and out-earn a con artist every time.last_img read more

What Mostly Prevents Better Sales Results

first_imgYour sales force could be better. They could perform better both individually and collectively. That said, they probably aren’t the biggest obstacle to producing the results you need.Your sales managers could be better, too. They could be better leaders, better trainers, and better coaches. They could do more to help their teams succeed. All that being true, that isn’t likely the biggest challenge you face when it comes to creating and winning opportunities.Your sales process hasn’t been updated in a few years. It is clearly past its expiration date, and it badly needs a serious refresh. Some of the methodologies you’ve bolted on top of the process haven’t been updated since forever. As old as your process and methodologies may be, they aren’t the obstacle to better performance.Your messaging isn’t the best you’ve ever seen. You worry that it isn’t compelling enough, that it’s a little tired, and a bit stale. Messaging is vital, and it’s worth working on. You might want to point at messaging as the villain in the story you tell yourself about what your disappointing results and what you need them to be now. Messaging, however, isn’t likely your biggest problem.Your problem is execution.You are always going to have a top 20 percent and the 80 percent that trail them. You are always going to have a bottom 20 percent in your sales force. Your competitors have a bottom 20 percent, too. Moving the whole curve towards better performance requires that each quartile executes.Your sales managers also need to execute. Execution here means leading, coaching, and spending time with their teams. How do you know your leaders are executing? Your sales force is executing.Your sales process and all of your methodologies are part of what is supposed to be executing. Done well, your company strategy and your client acquisition strategy are all rolled up into how you sell. If you aren’t producing the results you are capable of, it might be the strategy, but it’s more likely the execution thereof.Messaging that isn’t used doesn’t have the chance to be effective. Changing the messaging without changing the execution is like changing the tires on a car with no engine. You still aren’t going anywhere.Before you decide what needs changed, why it needs changed, and what you should do about it, look to make sure that you are executing what you have in place. Bouncing from change to change without the execution leaves you no better than you are now. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Your Research is Mostly Call Reluctance

first_imgAn email from one reader asked what research he might do that would allow him to gain the commitment of time from his prospects. This is to overestimate the value of researching, and it is to misunderstand what it takes to gain a commitment for a first meeting (which is covered in greater detail in The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales).The Limits of ResearchThere is very little that you can learn about your prospective client through research that will cause you to gain an appointment with your prospective client.You may want to look at their work history to discern what they’ve done in the past, which may help you understand what kind of roles they’ve had in the past, and you may also find things they are proud of having done. You can look at their education, and you might be able to find some connection, like the fact that your prospective client went to the same university as your brother in law. On LinkedIn, you can see what groups someone belongs to, you can see what they found valuable enough to post, and you can see what their interests are, none of which is very helpful when it comes to gaining a commitment for a meeting.What comes next is going to be painful for some of you:You are researching your client because you have call reluctance. You have call reluctance because you don’t know what to say to gain an appointment, and you are searching for some way to make it easier. But if you already don’t know what to say, then saying, “You went to the same University as my brother in law,” is only going to make things worse for you.The key to gaining a commitment is having something worth trading time to acquire.What Are You Trading for Time?When you are asking for an appointment, what you know about your client specifically is not as important as what you know about them generally. Your dream client isn’t likely to meet with you because you stalked their social media to learn things about them personally. They’re going to meet with you because you have something of value to trade for that meeting.To gain the commitment of time, it’s much easier to trade what you can teach your prospective client about their business, about their opportunities, about their challenges, and about the decisions they are going to need to make in the not too distant future.Later, Do Your ResearchWhen you are prospecting, you need to do the minimal viable amount of research about your prospect, and the maximum research necessary to have a commanding disparity when it comes to business acumen and situational knowledge. Once that appointment is scheduled, however, you need to do more research, the kind of research that gives you some greater clues as to who you are meeting with before you have that meeting.last_img read more

NGT raps Punjab, Haryana over their action plan on pollution

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal today slammed Punjab and Haryana governments for filing generalised action plans to combat air pollution and directed them to refer to its previous judgements on the issue. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also summoned the environment secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan asking them to give a “workable solution” for combating the problem of pollution. The tribunal took exception that Punjab and Haryana were following the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority’s (EPCA’s) comprehensive action plan and not applying their own mind. During the proceedings, both the states told the green panel that a slew of measures including stopping construction work, burning waste, shutting schools and monitoring of industries causing emissions will be taken whenever pollution is beyond prescribed limits continuously for 48 hours.“What is the logic of waiting for 48 hours? There is nothing great about the action plan which you have prepared. It is your basic function which you have to do all the time.” “Why have you referred to the EPCA’s plan? Why don’t you apply your own brains? In this country, it is a dream to have prescribed norms of air quality,” the bench observed.When the bench asked the Delhi government its stand on the odd-even scheme, the counsel appearing for it said the government wants to implement it with exceptions and has also filed a review plea in this regard which will be heard tomorrow. The tribunal had yesterday slammed the Delhi government and the neighbouring states over their action plan on ways to deal with severe air pollution in the city and directed them to file a detailed document to tackle with the problem. It had observed that air pollution was never at the “normal level” in the national capital and directed the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan to file the action plan afresh. The counsel for the Delhi government had filed the plan which recommended implementation of odd-even plan, entry of trucks in the city, ban on construction works and disallowing children from playing outside when air quality turns severe. The counsel for petitioner Vardhaman Kaushik, who had filed plea against worsening air quality in Delhi, had said the action plans submitted by the states were merely “an eye- wash” and they have only “copy-pasted” the recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed EPCA. Earlier, the NGT had directed the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and every state pollution control board to file ambient air quality analysis before the tribunal on monthly basis and also put up on their websites to enable the concerned authority to take effective steps to control air pollution.last_img read more

Had warned AAP about ‘flirting’ with Khalistanis: Gul Panag

first_imgActor and one-time Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate and campaigner Gul Panag on Saturday said she had warned the party against associating with Khalistan separatists during the Punjab Assembly elections in 2017. Ms. Panag was replying to a tweet that alleged that the AAP was “clearly seen romanticising Khalistanis” when she came out against the “flirtation”.“Poorly calculated flirtation that was. One I warned against. Repeatedly. It’s because they didn’t ‘get’ or ‘understand’ Punjab. Thought the K gang had electoral weightage. All of us from Punjab, knew better. But alas!,” she tweeted. Another Twitter user then asked her if the underlying message of her statement was that if Khalistanis had electoral weight, then it would have been acceptable. “No, the message is – no one in Punjab cares about Khalistan. Not even the ‘fringe’,” she replied. Requests for comment from several AAP functionaries, including AAP national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and spokesperson Ashutosh, yielded no response.last_img read more

Odisha bureaucrats protest against Minister’s remarks

first_imgThe IAS Officers’ Association of Odisha has taken strong exception to the remarks made by Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan against a senior IAS officer of the State at a function here on Monday.In a memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Association said that Mr. Pradhan, during the inauguration of the National Data Centre of the National Informatics Centre, had “personally targeted” State IT Secretary Ashok Meena, who was attending the function on invitation.While addressing the gathering, Mr. Pradhan had remarked that senior IAS officers were unable to take decisions independently, and for every mundane issue they were seeking approval from “higher-ups”, in an apparent reference to the CMO.Others who were present at the function included Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union IT Secretary Ajay Sawhney and State Revenue Secretary Chandra Shekhar Kumar.Demoralised officialsStating that several such incidents had been reported by field functionaries, the Association said, “This has vitiated the working atmosphere and has a demoralising effect on the officers and employees of the State government.”“The IAS Association of Odisha strongly condemns such incidents and stands by all State government employees facing such situations,” Association secretary Vishal Dev said in the memorandum.The Association requested the Mr. Patnaik to take up the matter at the appropriate level. The OAS Officers’ Association representatives also met the Chief Minister at the State Secretariat and demanded action in the matter.last_img read more

Amarinder assures Sushma of action

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has assured Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj of action against the travel agent responsible for trafficking 39 Indians to Iraq, where they were abducted and killed. “Will personally look into the matter @SushmaSwaraj ji and ensure the most stringent action against the agents responsible for the heinous crime. Will keep you updated,” Capt. Amarinder said in a tweet on Sunday. On Friday, Ms. Swaraj had said the agent responsible for trafficking 39 Indians to Iraq was still operating his business in Punjab and sending people abroad. She had requested Capt. Amarinder to take stringent action against such illegal travel agents operating in the State. Ms. Swaraj had told Parliament in March that the 39 Indians, who were abducted by the ISIS terror outfit in Mosul in Iraq three years ago, were dead.Illegal network Addressing a national conference of the State women commissions in Delhi two days ago, Ms. Swaraj had urged them to crack down on the illegal network of agents operating across the country.Ms. Swaraj had said the commissions need to identify these illegal agents and give their names to the Chief Minister of their respective States for action.last_img read more

Two aides of prime accused remanded in CBI custody

first_imgTwo close aides of Brajesh Thakur, the prime accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case in which the girl inmates of the home were sexually abused, were remanded in a five-day CBI custody by a court here on Wednesday. The special court hearing cases filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act passed the order, declining the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) request for a seven-day custody of Madhu and Ashwani Kumar – who allegedly posed as a doctor – and posted the matter to November 26 for further hearing. Madhu, who was grilled by the police on Tuesday afternoon, was arrested on Wednesday morning and made to undergo medical tests at the Sadar hospital, before being produced before the court, along with Ashwani, who was arrested the previous night. Madhu, who handled many businesses of Thakur, had told reporters that she was not hiding but did not appear before the probe agency as she was never named as an accused nor was a warrant issued against her.‘Privy to no secrets’ She had also claimed that she knew nothing about the goings on at the Balika Grih (shelter home for girls), was “privy to no secrets” and refuted the media reports that she used to liaison with influential people to promote Thakur’s NGOs, newspapers and other businesses. Kumar, who was arrested from his in-laws place in Fatehpur village under the Kurhani police station in the district, did not have any medical background. He learnt how to administer injections while sitting in the clinic of his father, a doctor, at Kurhani, about 30 km from Muzaffarpur town. He was associated with Thakur’s NGO “Sewa Sankalp Aur Vikas Samiti” and allegedly used to administer injections laced with sedatives to the shelter home inmates before they were subjected to sexual abuse, sources close to Kumar said. A number of people have so far been arrested in connection with the high-profile scandal, which came to light following a social audit of Bihar shelter homes by Tata Institute of Social Sciences.last_img read more

Yogi orders probe after bribe sting

first_imgThe Yogi Adityanath government on Thursday ordered a probe by a Special Investigation Team after private secretaries of three State ministers were caught on camera allegedly seeking bribes inside the secretariat building.The SIT, headed by ADG Lucknow Zone Rajiv Krishnan, will submit its report in 10 days.Taking cognizance of the ‘sting operation’ by Hindi news channel ABP News, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered the immediate suspension of the accused officials and that an FIR be lodged against them.In the ‘sting operation,’ the secretaries — Santosh Awasthi, Om Prakash Kashyap and S.P. Tripathi — were allegedly caught on camera seeking money in exchange for work done in their departments. The officers belonged to the departments of State Minister for Education Sandeep Singh, Backward Classes Welfare Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar and Mining Minister Archana Pandey respectively.Uneasy allyMr. Rajbhar, president of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, an ally of the BJP in U.P., has had a rocky relationship with the regime. Speaking to the media, he questioned the intention of the sting operation. Ms. Pandey said she would assist the probe fully and help in ensuring that the guilty were punished.last_img read more

Row in Legislative Council over ruling on motion seeking expulsion of BJP MLC

first_imgLegislative Council chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar’s decision to allow party group leaders to decide the fate of controversial BJP legislator Prashant Paricharak caused a stir on Thursday. The Council was adjourned after Shiv Sena legislators marched to the well when the Chairman — without passing a ruling — announced the motion to expel Mr. Paricharak moved by the Shiv Sena was not sustainable and a decision would be taken only by party group leaders later.This led to sloganeering and shouting by Sena legislators, who called the decision an insult to the armed forces on a day the country was praising their role in the India-Pakistan tensions. The controversial BJP-backed independent legislator was suspended for one-and-a half years for his controversial remarks on the wives of Army personnel in 2017. When the period of suspension ended, it was revoked by the Council last year. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLC Anil Parab moved a proposal seeking expulsion of Mr. Paricharak for his controversial remarks. This proposal came up for ruling on Thursday, when Mr. Nimbalkar said that in his opinion the proposal could not be accepted until group leaders have adjudicated on it. “During the last session the decision was taken to allow group leaders to adjudicate on this matter and whether he [Paricharak] should be allowed in the house,” he said. Mr. Nimbalkar later told The Hindu that he was merely expressing his opinion as the motion was not sustainable on technical grounds. “I am bound by technicalities and not emotions. The ultimate decision will be by group leaders. I merely expressed a point of view,” he said. The Sena legislators trooped into the well and called the apparent decision an insult to the armed forces. “it is a grave insult to allow him (Paricharak) in the house when the armed forces are fighting a decisive battle,” Sena leader Diwakar Raote said. Mr. Parab later clarified that members had misread chairman’s words when he was only referring to the motion being adjudicated by the group leaders. Leader of the Opposition in the Council Dhananjay Munde alleged that the chairman was under pressure from the BJP, at a time when the country was dealing with a crisis on the border. “We must be discussing farmers and drought, instead the chairman decided to take up this motion when it was not even listed in the morning on the agenda,” he said adding it was a wrong time to take up the motion for adjudication.last_img read more

Cong.’s last call to CPI(M) on seat sharing

first_imgMiffed with the CPI(M), the West Bengal Congress on Wednesday said there will be no seat sharing with the CPI(M) by compromising party’s dignity and gave an ultimatum to the Left Front to take a call on the tie-up by this Sunday. The Congress convened a meeting of its State election committee, which was chaired by Congress in-charge of Bengal Gaurav Gogoi, to decide on election strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. State Congress sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it has been decided that chairman of the State co-ordination committee Pradip Bhattacharya and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Abdul Mannan will speak to CPI(M) on the issue of the seat sharing and the matter should be sorted out by March 3.last_img read more

Ethnic equation matters most in Assam’s Kokrajhar

first_imgUrkhao Gwra Brahma, a former Rajya Sabha member and the United People’s Party (Liberal) candidate for the Kokrajhar Lok Sabha constituency in western Assam, says the story of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is 5% development and 95% unemployment.But lack of development and jobs have seldom mattered in Kokrajhar, straddling 10 Assembly segments within BTC and beyond, that has suffered decades of extremism, a statehood movement, and communal violence.The electoral battle has thus often boiled down to a contest between the Bodos and non-Bodos, more intensely since the 2014 Lok Sabha election when a conglomerate of 19 non-Bodo organisations propelled Independent candidate Naba Kumar Sarania to Parliament.Non-Bodo winnerMr. Sarania, a former leader of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom, won the Kokrajhar seat in 2014 by a margin of 3,55,779 votes over Mr. Brahma. He is the first non-Bodo to have won the seat since 1957 and hopes to retain it with a similar margin “because the oppressed non-Bodos” are behind him.Though Bodos are the single largest community in Kokrajhar, the non-Bodos, including migrant Bengali-speaking Muslims —the second largest group — account for more than 70% of the population.“I will deliver a knockout punch to my rivals this time. My supporters, who are neglected in the BTC, know Assam would have been fragmented had I not been in the picture,” said Mr. Sarania, referring to the Bodoland statehood movement which has its genesis in the “divide Assam 50-50” call in the 1960s. But more than Mr. Brahma, Mr. Sarania has trained his guns on the State’s Social Welfare Minister and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) candidate Pramila Rani Brahma. The BPF, headed by Hagrama Mohilary, has been ruling the BTC since its creation in 2003 and is part of the Sarbananda Sonowal-led BJP government in Assam.The 69-year-old Ms. Brahma and Mr. Mohilary are former extremists like Mr. Sarania. Their outfit, Bodo Liberation Tigers, was disbanded soon after the BTC was born. “Our focus is on development and ensuring peaceful co-existence among all the communities that enrich BTC and other areas under Kokrajhar,” said Ms. Brahma, confident of succeeding where her predecessor — fellow Minister in the Assam government Chandan Brahma, also a former extremist — failed to by finishing third in 2014.But the non-Bodos are wary of her controversial statement after the 2014 election that led to the killing of 32 Muslims, mostly women and children in BTC areas. She had allegedly accused the Muslims of not voting for the candidate of her party that year. The BTC areas were witness to ethnic violence earlier too. More than 500 people were killed between 1993 and 2012 in communal attacks that claimed the lives of Muslims and Adivasis, besides Bodos. The 2012 violence displaced more than 1,00,000 Muslims most of whom did not return. “Whether it is a Bodo or a non-Bodo who wins, all we want is an end to living in fear,” said Hareswar Nath, a farmer in the constituency’s Sorbhog area.Altogether 12 candidates are vying for the Kokrajhar seat that goes to polls on April 23.last_img read more

ScienceShot: A 20-Million-Year Orbit

first_imgLocated 25 light-years from Earth and shining by its lonesome in the southern sky on October evenings, Fomalhaut is sometimes called “the solitary one.” It’s a white A-type star, somewhat hotter than the sun, and the 18th brightest star in the night; it harbors a dusty disk (main image) and a planet whose existence is controversial. Now, astronomers report that a little red star (inset, circled), discovered decades ago 5.67° northwest of Fomalhaut, shares the same distance and motion through space. Thus, as the scientists will announce in a future issue of The Astronomical Journal, the dim red sun probably revolves around the bright white star, even though the two are separated by a whopping 2.5 light-years of space, which is more than half the distance between the sun and Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to our own. The astronomers calculate that completing a single orbit takes the red dwarf roughly 20 million years. Fomalhaut possesses another distant companion, an orange dwarf named Fomalhaut B, so the discovery means this famous star is a triple system with two of the farthest-flung stellar companions ever seen. And that suggests that widely spaced star systems are more common than astronomers previously thought. Meanwhile, the little red star, which bears the prosaic name LP 876-10, is in for an upgrade: The researchers recommend it be rechristened Fomalhaut C.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

ScienceShot: Don’t Blame a Hyena for Its Stink

first_imgTo a hyena, a grass stalk like this is an olfactory Facebook. He can tell from a sniff which other hyenas are in the area: male or female, young or old, pregnant or lactating. All of these characteristics are recognizable from the scent pastes that their owners rub onto such stalks from a gland under their tails. Many mammals communicate by scent, and scientists have long suspected that the chemicals responsible for this language of signature stinks are not made by the animals themselves, but by symbiotic bacteria that live in scent glands. Researchers tested this idea with a study of pastes scooped from the glands of anesthetized hyenas in Kenya. They took a survey of the bacterial DNA in each paste, and of volatile fatty acids, a family of pungent chemicals that are largely responsible for the smell. The bacterial and chemical signatures matched each other, suggesting the microbes are producing the odors: Individuals with similar chemicals also had similar profiles of bacteria. What’s more, the bacterial and chemical signatures also corresponded to key pieces of information hyenas detect from smell: the family or clan they come from, their sex, and their reproductive status, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The next steps will include cultivating the microbes they found in the lab to confirm exactly what chemicals they produce and solidifying the theory that it’s animals’ bacteria, not the animals themselves, that make such a big stink.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Judge returns Great Lakes wolves to endangered species list

first_imgGray wolves in the western Great Lakes region are once again protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), following a federal court ruling. The decision ends wolf hunting and trapping in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In Michigan, which does not allow wolf hunting, voters recently rejected an effort to establish a wolf season.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) removed federal protections for the wolves (Canis lupus) in 2012. The agency concluded that the canids had fully recovered from near-extinction and turned their management over to the three states’ wildlife departments. But in her 19 December ruling, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell called the decision “arbitrary and capricious.”At the time of the wolves’ delisting, federal wildlife biologists estimated the animals’ population in the region at 4400. That number dropped to 3748 this year as a result of hunting and trapping, and state plans called for an even greater decline. For instance, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources was aiming for a statewide wolf population of just 350 animals (from a high of 800).Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In response, the Humane Society of the United States, representing a coalition of animal rights and conservation organizations, filed suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2013. They argued that the decision to remove federal protections was premature and threatened the wolves’ survival.Howell agreed, finding that FWS had incorrectly interpreted the ESA by not assessing the species as a whole. The agency’s delisting decision was “fatally flawed,” she wrote, because it was tied to “a scientific finding that turned out to be, at best, premature, or, at worst, erroneous.”FWS spokesman Gavin Shire disagreed, saying that the “science clearly shows that wolves are recovered in the Great Lakes Region, and we believe the Great Lakes states have clearly demonstrated their ability to effectively manage their wolf populations.” FWS has not yet decided if it will appeal the ruling.last_img read more

Magnetic ‘rust’ controls brain activity

first_imgDeep brain stimulation, which now involves surgically inserting electrodes several inches into a person’s brain and connecting them to a power source outside the skull, can be an extremely effective treatment for disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression. The expensive, invasive procedure doesn’t always work, however, and can be risky.Now, a study in mice points to a less invasive way to massage neuronal activity, by injecting metal nanoparticles into the brain and controlling them with magnetic fields. Major technical challenges must be overcome before the approach can be tested in humans, but the technique could eventually provide a wireless, nonsurgical alternative to traditional deep brain stimulation surgery, researchers say.”The approach is very innovative and clever,” says Antonio Sastre, a program director in the Division of Applied Science & Technology at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering in Bethesda, Maryland. The new work provides “a proof of principle.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The inspiration to use magnets to control brain activity in mice first struck materials scientist Polina Anikeeva while working in the lab of neuroscientist-engineer Karl Deisseroth at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. At the time, Deisseroth and colleagues were refining optogenetics, a tool that can switch specific ensembles of neurons on and off in animals with beams of light.Optogenetics has revolutionized how neuroscientists study the brain by allowing them to directly manipulate specific neural circuits. But it isn’t practical for human deep brain stimulation. The technique requires that animals be genetically modified so that their neurons respond to light. Light also scatters in brain tissue. So rodents in optogenetics experiments must remain tethered to a surgically implanted, fiber optic cable that delivers laser beams directly to the brain region of interest. Unlike light, low-frequency magnetic fields pass straight through brain tissue as if it were “transparent,” Anikeeva says. That makes those types of magnetic fields an ideal vehicle for delivering energy into the brain without damaging it. Clinicians have long tried to do just that by placing magnetic field coils near a patient’s head. This so-called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) triggers the flow of small electrical currents in neural circuits beneath the coils. But the magnetic fields used in TMS affect only brain tissue near the brain’s surface. Anikeeva, who is now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, decided to see if she could use magnetic nanoparticles to go deeper.Previous cancer studies had shown that by injecting tumors with magnetic nanoparticles made of iron oxide—“essentially rust, with well-tuned magnetic properties,” Anikeeva says—then exposing them to rapidly alternating magnetic fields, excited nanoparticles can be used to heat and destroy cancer tumors while leaving surrounding, healthy tissue intact. Anikeeva wondered if a similar method could be used to merely stimulate select groups of neurons deep within the brain. To find out, she and her MIT colleagues targeted a class of proteins called TRPV1 channels, which are found in neurons that respond to heat and certain chemicals in food. Every time you touch a hot iron or eat a spicy pepper, TRPV1-containing neurons fire. Anikeeva and her colleagues injected custom-made, 20-nanometer iron oxide particles into a region of the rodents’ brains called the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a well-studied deep brain structure essential to the experience of reward, which plays a central role in disorders such as addiction and depression in people.TRPV1-containing neurons are abundant in this region in humans, but sparse in mice. So the team also injected the rodents with a virus that increased cell expression of the channel just within that brain area. Such an approach would not be feasible in people, but made the experiment easier to evaluate, Anikeeva says.A few days later, the team put the mice underneath a custom-built, 6.35-centimeter-diameter coil that emits magnetic waves alternating between 10 hertz and 10 millihertz. Hours after the team applied the magnetic fields, they sacrificed the animals and examined their brain tissue under a microscope. The mice were a strain previously engineered to produce a bright green fluorescent marker in any active neurons. A large network of neurons connected to the VTA glowed green, suggesting that the magnetic fields had effectively stimulated the circuit, the team reports online today in Science. Anikeeva and colleagues found similar results when they waited a month before applying the magnetic stimulation, suggesting that the nanoparticles endured in place.To make the approach feasible in humans, researchers need to design nanoparticles that are “very, very selective” in their ability to target specific brain structures and neurons, Sastre says. TRPV1 channels are widely distributed throughout the human brain, so another major challenge is figuring out how to deliver stimulation only to the cells researchers want to target, he adds.In a “perfect, futuristic picture,” Anikeeva says, people suffering from depression or other neurologic or psychiatric disorders could come in for a simple intravenous injection of finely tuned, targeted nanoparticles that reach the region of the brain needing stimulation. In theory, such stimulation could take place every time patients go to sleep, if the magnetic coil were installed in their bed or a specialized pillow, she suggests. For now, however, the technique is most promising as a potential method of studying brain activity in animals that allows them to roam their enclosures without being tethered to wires, she says. “We’re not necessarily thinking of a clinical perspective yet,” Anikeeva emphasizes.(Video credit: Ritchie Chen and Polina Anikeeva)last_img read more