Our brains are constantly trying to stay in balance?between too much and too little nerve activity. When they become unbalanced, this leads to disorders like schizophrenia and autism. If we could just find that neuron “switch,” maybe we could turn it off.

In the Scientific American website, Susannah F. Locke quotes neurobiologist Michael Greenberg as saying, “Nobody has [found] a gene that controls the process in quite that way before.” But he thinks HE has: a gene called Npas4.

But not everybody agrees that switching off Npas4 will solve the problem. Locke quotes neurobiologist Gina Turrigiano as saying that Greenberg’s study reveals a “pretty intriguing potential pathway” for controlling neuronal activity. But she says that while mice without Npas4 can survive, they are prone to seizures and have a shorter life span than normal mice. This may not be a successful trade-off for humans.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

Ever wish you could push a button and switch on our wonderful Dreamland shows whenever you want to, even when you?re away from your computer? Well you CAN: Regular listeners only have access to a month of shows, but subscribers can listen?and re-listen?for an entire year. They also get a special subscriber interview every week just for them and can also download shows to an MP3 disc so they can listen in their cars and in other places away from their computers. They also get 10% off everything in our store, and all for less than a latte a month ($39.99 a YEAR), so what are you waiting for? Subscribe today!

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

Dreamland Video podcast
To watch the FREE video version on YouTube, click here.

Subscribers, to watch the subscriber version of the video, first log in then click on Dreamland Subscriber-Only Video Podcast link.