Feb 16, 2009 | 4
In the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a character played by Jim Carrey visits an eccentric scientist who wipes out the bad memories of his relationship with Kate Winslet's character using a machine that maps their location in his brain and systematically deletes them. The concept might have seemed preposterous, but today scientists are reporting that a common blood pressure drug can produce a similar effect – not by destroying a memory itself, but by wiping out your fearful reaction to it.
Dutch scientists taught a group of 60 people to fear a spider by mildly shocking their wrists when they showed them a picture of the arachnid. Then, the next time the group were shown the spider, half were given propranolol (a beta-blocker prescribed to lower blood pressure and treat migraines in children), and half a placebo. Those who got the drug didn’t show any strong startle response to the spider, while those who got the placebo continued to have a significant one, according to the research in today’s Nature Neuroscience.
Jul 11, 2008 | 2
Rutgers University researchers have found brain cells responsible for helping people overcome fear of things they once found scary. The finding, published in Nature, could pave the way for these so-called intercalated cells in the amygdala, a brain region that processes fear, to become drug targets for treating phobias (such as fear of heights and closed spaces) as well as post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers and others. Scientists trained two rat populations--one with these cells intact and the other with them disabled--to fear a certain sound by giving them a mild shock every time it was played. After awhile, the animals would freeze in their tracks when they heard the noise, bracing for pain. The team then played the tone sans the shock. When they sounded the note again a week later, rats with healthy intercalated cells weren't bothered, whereas the others froze. The scientists believe that intercalated cells form "extinction memories," which associate something previously feared (such as an air raid siren or a car backfiring) with a harmless outcome.
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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Conventional washing machines cause excessive damage and wrinkling to clothes primarily during the water removal step. With the introduc
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