memory
Why Do We Forget?

To live is to forget – account numbers, names, the precise locations of keys and wallets, friends from childhood, peripheral characters from prestige TV shows, inside jokes, past ambitions, U.S. history, much else. Goldfish with guns: that’s the human race. But every frailty, we know, serves some larger adaptive purpose. So it is worth asking, as we wrack our brains for whatever it was we know we were supposed to do today: why must things be like this? Why do we forget? For this week’s Giz Asks, we reached out to a number of neuroscientists and psychologists to find out. Read More >>

science
A Lifelong Biodome Experiment Could Reveal How the Immune System Shapes Personality

It’s the sort of realisation that ought to make you existentially terrified: All of your thoughts and actions are influenced by countless interconnected factors, most of which you are never conscious of. Read More >>

science
Experimental Drug Offers a ‘Glimmer of Hope’ for People With a Devastating Form of Multiple Sclerosis

New research funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests an experimental drug can slow down the brain damage caused by a form of multiple sclerosis (MS), an incurable neurological disorder that eats away at the protective coating of our nervous system. But it’s still unclear whether the drug can noticeably improve the crippling symptoms sufferers experience. Read More >>

health
No, a Study Didn’t Just Prove That Mobile Phones Cause Brain Cancer

Yet another study claiming to show a connection between cancer and mobile phones—this time from the UK—is making the rounds. But plenty of scientists are saying the new paper is misleading. Read More >>

science
One Study Finds ‘Zombie Deer’ Prion Disease May Not Infect Humans, but Risk Remains

Scientists’ worst fears over a so-called “zombie deer” prion disease currently spreading across the US and Canada are unlikely to come to pass, suggests a long-term study published last week in the Journal of Virology. The fatal ailment, known as chronic wasting disease (CWD) and caused by a mysterious kind of protein called a prion, doesn’t seem capable of crossing the species barrier and spreading to humans—at least according to this experiment. Other research, however, has found otherwise. Read More >>

science
Prion Disease Can Lurk in Your Brain for 30 Years Before Quickly Killing You

Among the myriad of things that can sicken us, prions remain one of the creepiest pathogens out there. A new report, published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, highlights yet another reason why: People can come down with a prion disease at least 30 years after first being exposed to it. Read More >>

health
Knitting is Better for Your Brain Than Brain Games

Researchers looking down people's ears and examining the health of their brains have decided there's no real benefit in playing "brain games" and forcing yourself to endure endless rounds of Sudoku. Read More >>

music
Digital Headwear Could Control Phones by Thought

A hat with modern magical sensors in it could be the future of smartphone interaction, as its inventor claims it could one day be used to switch playlists on the fly by you just thinking about listening to Kids in America. Read More >>

science
Scientists Are Now Using AI to Predict Autism in Infants

Despite all the headway that science has made in understanding autism in recent years, knowing which children will one day develop autism is still almost impossible to predict. Children diagnosed with autism appear to behave normally until around two, and until then there is often no indication that anything is wrong. Read More >>

science
DARPA Wants to Hack Your Brain to Make You Learn Faster

If the brain is just a bunch of wires and circuits, it stands to reason that those components can simply be re-wired in order to create a better, smarter us. At least, that’s the theory behind a new project from the military’s secretive DARPA research branch announced on Wednesday, which aims to enhance human cognitive ability by activating what’s known as “synaptic plasticity.” Read More >>

science
Scientists ‘Reprogram’ Brain Cells As Promising New Parkinson’s Treatment

An encouraging new study into Parkinson's has successfully converted brain cells to replace the ones lost in the disease. Read More >>

health
A Brain-Invading Parasite Is Believed to Be Spreading Because of Climate Change

Health officials in Hawaii have been warning residents not to touch snails or slugs with their bare hands because of an increase in cases of people coming into contact with a rare parasitic infection known as a rat lungworm. Experts are blaming its sudden spread across the United States on climate change and globalisation. Read More >>

health
Marmite Isolated as Potential Brain Enhancer

The brown yeast product that lunatics smear on toast has received a staggering PR boost today from academics at the University of York, who say eating a bit of Marmite each day was linked to positive changes in the brain that could turn consumers into more balanced individuals. Read More >>

VR
VR Could Spot Signs of Concussion in Footballers

The emerging worry that is brain injury possibly being caused by heading footballs is the latest target of developers in VR land, with a team of researchers suggesting that VR's sensors and tricking of the brain might be able to detect the early signs of concussion and could therefore save young brains from needless battering. Read More >>

science
US Military Successfully Uses Electrical Pulses to Enhance Staff’s Cognitive Ability

Scientists paid to work out how to make the US military even scarier have reported successful results for an experiment involving electrical pulses and human brains. They managed to use a method called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to enhance the cognitive ability of servicemen, improving their performance in high-pressure situations. Read More >>