Daily Rounds: Memory's Team Effort; Medical Supplies For The Poor; Three Ill Daughters; The Chocolate Boost

BBC News - Memory is 'team effort' by several regions of the brain "Remembering where we left our keys requires at least three different regions of the brain to work together, a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience says. Dr Clea Warburton, co-author of the study and reader in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Bristol, said the study had discovered an important brain circuit.
"In normal day to day life we are all collecting information within this brain circuit, which may involve other bits of the brain too. If we recognise somebody in the supermarket but can't remember their name it may be because we are used to seeing them somewhere else, like work." (The BBC)

Salvaging Medical Cast-Offs to Save Lives - "Every year, hospitals in America throw away thousands of tons of usable medical supplies and equipment — by some measures 7,000 tons a year, a value of $20 billion.   The 2006 model ultrasound machine is sent to a landfill because the 2011 model has arrived.   Unopened, sterile packages of supplies are thrown away because they were marked for one patient’s surgery and hospital regulations prohibit their use by another. Yet every year, hospitals in developing countries around the world turn away patients or provide substandard care because they lack even the most basic medical equipment." (

Belmont family aids research into Sanfilippo syndrome, with three daughers battling disease - The Boston Globe "In the past year they have collected about $50,000. They donated $20,000 to a University of Montreal researcher who credits the seed money from the Burkes and another family foundation for helping him conduct preliminary research that yielded a recent five-year $750,000 grant to study Sanfilippo, which causes children to regress and eventually slip into dementia, and similar diseases. “What do you do if your child has this extremely rare syndrome and there isn’t millions of dollars for research?’’ said Nancy Burke, a preschool teacher. “Then it gets left up to the families, like us, who form their own family foundations and try to raise as much money as you can.’’ (

Phys Ed: How Chocolate Can Help Your Workout - "And even for those who adore dark chocolate, there is a catch. “A very small amount is probably enough,” Dr. Villarreal said. Extrapolating from his group’s mouse data, he said, five grams of dark chocolate daily, or just a sixth of an ounce — about half of one square of a typical chocolate bar — is probably a reasonable human dose if your aim is to intensify the effects of a workout. Sadly, “more is not better,” he continued. “More could lessen or even undo” any benefits, he said, by overloading the muscles’ receptors or otherwise skewing the body’s response." (

This program aired on August 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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