Weekend Links

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We’ve hand-picked a mix of Massachusetts General Hospital and other research-related news and stories for your weekend reading enjoyment:

Rebranding placebos: Harnessing the power of sham therapies for real healing might require a new lexicon

Researchers produce the first draft cell atlas of the small intestine

‘Extraordinary’ tale: Stem cells heal a young boy’s lethal skin disease

Decisions, Decisions: The Neuroscience of How We Choose (Science Weekly podcast)

Are you preparing a research poster?
A Quick Poster Checklist (From the University of Washington)
University of Texas Poster Review

Top photo courtesy of Knowable Magazine (CREDIT: TEXTBOOK EXAMPLE [CC BY-ND])

Weekend Links

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We’ve hand-picked a mix of Massachusetts General Hospital and other research-related news and stories for your weekend reading enjoyment:

For Some, Cutting-Edge ‘CAR-T’ Treatment Unleashes ‘Pac-Man’ Cells Against Blood Cancer

Gut Health May Begin in the Mouth

Why Precision Research May Lead To Blockbuster, Not Customized, Medicines

Mass. General Dilemma: Separate Conjoined Twins To Save One, Or Let Both Die?

Step Inside the Mind of the Young Stephen Hawking as His PhD Thesis Goes Online for First Time

Amazing Images From 2017 Photomicrography Competition

(top image: Immortalized human skin cells – 1st place winner of the 2017 Nikon Small World Contest [Source: Nikon Small World])

 

PET Theories: New Imaging Tools Offer Better Diagnosis, Treatment of Neurodegeneration

PET scanning is giving Mass General Hospital researchers a whole new view of neurodegenerative diseases, which will hopefully make it easier to diagnose and treat patients for a variety of conditions, including ALS and Parkinson’s disease.

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Mass General Researchers Use Imaging Tools to Gain Insights into the Physiology of the Trance State

Shamanic rituals that involve entering a trance state have been a part of the human experience for thousands of years. But we still know very little about the scientific basis of trances.

A team of investigators that included researchers from the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Mass General recently conducted MRI scans of 15 shamanic practitioners while they were in a trance state.

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(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The results showed increased connectivity in parts of the brain involved in internally directed thought and cognitive control, as well as decreased connectivity in the auditory pathways in the brain.

This suggests that the repetitive drum sounds that are often used to induce trance states may help to focus the brain inward by creating a predictable rhythmic sound that is easy for practitioners to tune out. Michael Hove, PhD, of the Martinos Center, is both first and corresponding author of the study.

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