Pupil Dilation Marks Decision Making

The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the simple pupil--the circular opening at the center of the eye that contracts and dilates to regulate the amount of light the eye receives--offers a remarkable portal to the inner workings of the brain. Such is the conclusion of neurobiologist Christof Koch of the California Institute of Technology and his colleagues, who have found that changes in pupil diameter correspond to the moment when a simple decision is made.

Neurogenetics Pioneer Seymour Benzer Dies

Seymour Benzer, a founder of the field of modern genetics, died from a stroke on Friday, November 30, at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. He was 86.

Southern California Institutions to Collaborate on Stem Cell Research

Research institutions across Southern California have joined forces to advance stem cell research by establishing the Southern California Stem Cell Scientific Collaboration (SC3). Members of the collaboration include the California Institute of Technology; University of Southern California; Childrens Hospital Los Angeles; City of Hope; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the House Ear Institute.

Neuroscientists Uncover Brain Region Involved in Voluntary Behavior

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have deciphered the activity of an area of the brain that could one day prove vital in the development of neural prostheses--within-the-brain implants that would translate thought into movement in paralyzed patients. The results of this study were published as the featured article in the November 8 issue of Neuron.

Brain Imaging Aids in Defense against Genetic Disease

Children born with a rare genetic disorder that can lead to debilitating and irreversible brain injury may find protection with the aid of brain imaging and a modified diet.

Caltech Neuroscientist Named to Institute of Medicine

Richard A. Andersen, the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology, has been elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Researchers Discover Link Between Schizophrenia, Autism and Maternal Flu

A team of California Institute of Technology researchers has found an unexpected link connecting schizophrenia and autism to the importance of covering your mouth whenever you sneeze.

MacArthur Foundation Names Two New Caltech "Geniuses"

Two California Institute of Technology faculty members were named MacArthur Fellows today, each winning a five-year, $500,000 grant awarded to creative, original individuals that is often referred to as the "genius grant."

Two Nicotine Addiction Puzzles Explained

The stranglehold of nicotine addiction leads to more than four million smoking-related deaths each year. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have now explained two roots of that addiction. The discoveries may offer new hope not just for smokers, but eventually also for sufferers of Parkinson's disease, a debilitating movement disorder that affects some 40 million people worldwide.

Caltech Scientists Create Breakthrough Sensor Capable of Detecting Individual Molecules

Applied physicists at the California Institute of Technology have figured out a way to detect single biological molecules with a microscopic optical device. The method has already proven effective for detecting the signaling proteins called cytokines that indicate the function of the immune system, and it could be used in numerous medical applications, such as the extremely early detection of cancer and other diseases, as well as in basic biological research.

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