Dr Thomas Becker and colleagues in the Centre for Neuroregeneration have used the regenerative capacity of zebrafish to uncover key mechanisms in the regrowth of spinal cord neurones following damage.They found that collagen 12 is produced by fibroblasts and this changes the structure of the support matrix which surrounds the nerve fibres, enabling regrowth across the wound site.
A study conducted by Sergio Della Sala, Sara Pluviano and Caroline Watt (all Psychology, University of Edinburgh) suggests that current strategies for correcting misinformation about the dangers of vaccinations have the opposite effect and reinforce ill-founded beliefs. Presenting scientific facts to disprove misconceptions was found to actually strengthen unfounded opinions, such as that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism. Similarly, showing images which suggest unvaccinated children can suffer from disease inspired the strongest belief that vaccines had harmful side effects.
Many congratulations to Professor Stephen Lawrie, Head of the Division of Psychiatry, who has won the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP) Senior Public Communication Prize. The BAP Public Communication Prizes are awarded annually to reward excellence in both clinical and non-clinical science communication to the public in the area of psychopharmacology.
Dr Emily Osterweil and researchers at the Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disability have used a genetic mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited form of autism, to look at the changes in muscarinic M4 receptor pathway. They found that a paradoxical enhancement of M4 activity normalised activity and reduced seizures in these mice.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh (Dr Barry McColl, Laura McCulloch and colleagues - Roslin Institute) have been awarded a £1.3M grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to study the immunological mechanisms related to B cell function that are disrupted after stroke and could contribute to stroke-associated infection (SAI).
Professors Joanna Wardlaw (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh), Karen Horsburgh (Centre for Neuroregeneration, University of Edinburgh) and Rhian Touyz (Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow) are guest editors on the recently released Clinical Science special edition on small vessels, dementia & chronic disease.
University of Edinburgh researchers, led by Prof. Craig Ritchie (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences), have joined forces to form a major brain imaging project - the TriBEKa consortium - looking at the first factors that determine risk of dementia. This project was launched on 14 July 2017 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London.
On 13 July 2017, Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences) spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live about autism following an interview with David Mitchell (best selling author) about his autistic son. Sue, along with Tom Purser (Head of Campaigns at the National Autistic Society and parent to an autistic son) and parent callers, spoke about changing perceptions of autism.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Music in Human and Social Development (Katie Overy and Emma Moore), Clinical Research Imaging Centre (Neil Roberts), and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (Mark Bastin), along with Leiden University (Rebecca S. Schaefer), have shown that using musical cues to learn a physical task significantly develops an important part of the brain.
Congratulations to Dr Tom Wishart (Roslin Institute) and colleagues on their recent article successes! The 2016 paper (Quantitative imaging of tissue sections using infrared scanning technology) was awarded 'Runner-Up' in the Journal of Anatomy's Best Paper Prizes 2016, and the 2013 article (Total protein analysis as a reliable loading control for quantitative fluorescent Western blotting) is among the top 10% most cited PLOS ONE articles. Well done to Tom and his colleagues!