The blog of Dr Jon Lieff explores the interface of biology, neurology, and the mind.

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  • For five years, I have written summaries of current scientific literature in subjects related to how mind exists in nature. This has included research into human and animal brains, plants, microbes, and general cellular intelligence. In addition to the weekly blog posts, I have p ...
  • Neuroplasticity is the process where the brain changes itself to provide new capacities. It is how memory and learning works. The Holy Grail of neuroscience is to find ways to enhance the brain’s ability to provide new capacities. Recently, there was found a possible way to re ...
  • Cancers, like all cells, work in communities tied together through signaling. Like microbe communities they send and receive all kinds of signals for group behavior and for defense. They build their own unique organ with help from other cells. Recent research has shown that cance ...
  • The previous post noted new complexity in the regulation of DNA that was just discovered. As well as the many levels of regulation, physical properties helped regulate how DNA is used. Now there is yet another new development—circular DNA in human cells adds even more complexit ...
  • Which comes first the chicken or the egg? With proteins and RNA regulating the function of DNA and DNA producing RNA which then produces proteins, which comes first—DNA, RNA, or proteins? At first, the way DNA makes proteins seemed almost clear and simple—DNA makes RNA, which ...
  • While great progress is made in research allowing ever more detailed descriptions of all cellular processes, there are still severe limitations on the interpretation of neuroscience in terms of understanding behavior and the mind. Previous posts have shown that there are many pro ...
  • Both elderly and children appear to have a higher incidence of cognitive brain problems after even routine surgery. It has been considered that both have delicate blood flow to regions in between the large vessels. These are called watershed regions. It has been postulated that n ...
  • As more is learned about animal intelligence, it is not understood how much of their behavior is learned or inherited in as yet unknown mechanism. Many of the intelligent behaviors are surprising and have been summarized in a series of posts. Please refer to posts on birds, lizar ...
  • For many years, amyloid toxic plaque accumulation has been considered to be the way brains are damaged in Alzheimer’s disease. Almost all experimental treatments have tried to stop this accumulation and none have helped. In recent years, the association of abnormal deposits of ...
  • T cells have elaborate communication with almost all other cells. They are the master regulators of the immune system. But, they also converse with brain cells, blood vessel cells, and lining cells of the gut and skin. Previous posts have described communication with T cells and ...
  • As technology increases our capacity to observe tiny biological systems, communication among cells has been observed with ramifications everywhere in biology. Up until recently, it has been very difficult to observe the behavior of individual cells everywhere in the body, but esp ...
  • Cancers demonstrate that communication among a variety of wide cell types is vital to their survival. Cancers are able to convert many local supportive cells to become comrades in initiation, support, growth, and metastasis of the cancer. It is remarkable how they can trick imm ...

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