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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

For anemonefish, male-to-female sex change happens first in brain

The anemonefish is a gender-bending marvel. It starts out as a male, but can switch to female when circumstances allow, for example, when the only female present dies or disappears. In a new study, researchers found that the male-to-female sex-change occurs first in the fish’s brain and only later involves the gonads – sometimes after a delay of months or years.

Study links nutrient patterns in blood to better brain connectivity, cognition

A new study links higher levels of several key nutrients in the blood with more efficient brain connectivity and performance on cognitive tests in older adults.

The study, reported in the journal NeuroImage, looked at 32 key nutrients in the Mediterranean diet, which previous research has shown is associated with better brain function in aging. It included 116 healthy adults 65-75 years of age.

Alumnus funds graduate students researching brain tissue cultures

Scott Fisher believes learning how to solve a problem can be as valuable as solving one.

This belief is what drove him to create a fund that will support IGB research in the area of regenerative biology and tissue engineering.

The fund will aid the research needs of graduate students working in this area of study – specifically those who are developing technologies to culture brain tissue to learn about brain cancer, traumatic brain injuries and neurological disorders.

Theory: Flexibility is at the heart of human intelligence

Centuries of study have yielded many theories about how the brain gives rise to human intelligence. Some neuroscientists think intelligence springs from a single region or neural network. Others argue that metabolism or the efficiency with which brain cells make use of essential resources are key.

A new theory, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, makes the case that the brain’s dynamic properties – how it is wired but also how that wiring shifts in response to changing intellectual demands – are the best predictors of intelligence in the human brain.

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