Radiolab
Radiolab
Sep 11, 2020
Bringing Gamma Back, Again
Play • 37 min
Today, we return to the lab of neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai, which brought us one of our favorite stories from four years ago - about the power of flashing lights on an Alzheimer’s-addled (mouse) brain. In this update, Li-Huei tells us about her team’s latest research, which now includes flashing sound, and ways in which light and sound together might retrieve lost memories. This new science is not a cure, and is far from a treatment, but it’s a finding so … simple, you won’t be able to shake it. Come join us for a lab visit, where we’ll meet some mice, stare at some light, and come face-to-face with the mystery of memory. We can promise you: by the end, you’ll never think the same way about Christmas lights again. Or jingle bells.

This update was reported by Molly Webster, and produced by Rachael Cusick. The original episode was produced by Annie McEwen, Matt Kielty, and Molly Webster, with help from Simon Adler. 

Special thanks to Ed Boyden, Cognito Therapeutics, Brad Dickerson, Karen Duff, Zaven Khachaturian, Michael Lutz, Kevin M. Spencer, and Peter Uhlhaas.

Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.    

Molly's note about the image:

Those neon green things in the image are microglia, the brain’s immune cells, or, as we describe them in our episode, the janitor cells of the brain. Straight from MIT’s research files, this image shows microglia who have gotten light stimulation therapy (one can only hope in the flicker room). You can see their many, super-long tentacles, which would be used to feel out anything that didn’t belong in the brain. And then they’d eat it!

Further reading: 

Li-Huei and co’s gamma sound and light paperMulti-sensory Gamma Stimulation Ameliorates Alzheimer’s-Associated Pathology and Improves Cognition

 

Consider This from NPR
Consider This from NPR
NPR
Their Family Members Are QAnon Followers — And They're At A Loss What To Do About It
The QAnon conspiracy theory originated in 2017, when an anonymous online figure, "Q" started posting on right-wing message boards. Q claims to have top secret government clearance. Q's stories range from false notions about COVID-19 to a cabal running the U.S. government to the claim there's a secret world of satanic pedophiles. This culminates in the belief that President Trump is a kind of savior figure. Today, U.S. authorities are increasingly regarding QAnon as a domestic terror threat — especially following last week's insurrection at the Capitol. But the people in the best position to address that threat are the families of Q followers — and they're at a loss about how to do it. Some of those family members spoke with us about how their family members started following QAnon and how that has affected their relationships. Travis View researches right-wing conspiracies and hosts the podcast QAnon Anonymous. He explains how the QAnon story is not all that different from digital marketing tactics, and how followers become detached from reality. Dannagal Young is an associate professor of communications at the University of Delaware and studies why people latch onto political conspiracy theories. She share some ways to help family members who are seemingly lost down one of these conspiracy rabbit holes. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at considerthis@npr.org.
14 min
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