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Reviews and comment from the nature publishing group

Brain-scan ethics come under the spotlight. Check, E. Nature 20 January (2005) A News article that reports on ways in which scientists approach ethical issues when dealing with the results of brain-imaging data.

TRPs as mechanosensitive channels. Barritt, G. & Rychkov, G. Nature Cell Biology February (2005)

Stress-induced immune dysfunction: implications for health. Glaser, R. & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. Nature Reviews Immunology March (2005) This review article outlines some of the key events that translate stressors and negative emotions into physiological changes, shedding light on the bidirectional interactions between the immune system and the central nervous and endocrine systems, and the effects of this communication on health.

Craving cocaine pERKs up the amygdala. Carrasquillo, Y. & Sweatt, J. D. Nature Neuroscience February (2005)

Picking apart plaques. Schubert, C. Nature Medicine February (2005) A build-up of amyloid-β is a primary feature of Alzheimer's disease. In this News and Views article, recent evidence is discussed indicating that antibodies against amyloid-β not only help to clear inclusions of the protein in mice that overexpress it, but also reduce some of the neuronal damage associated with amyloid-β accumulation.

Comm-ing across the midline. Krull, C. E. Nature Neuroscience February (2005) The transmembrane protein COMM determines whether or not commisural axons cross the midline. New research highlights the mechanism of regulation by COMM, which occurs through its action on surface levels of the receptor protein ROBO by preventing its delivery to the growth cone.

Smyelin for glia. Barres, B. A. Nature Neuroscience February (2005) A review of the book Neuroglia (2nd edition) edited by H. Kettenmann & B. R. Ransom.

Stressed and depressed. Akil, H. Nature Medicine February (2005) Stress is not only a trigger for depression, but abnormalities in the stress-response circuitry are also an underlying characteristic of this condition. The molecular mechanisms of this circuitry in depression are beginning to be unravelled. The latest advance is the finding that targeted disruption of the glucocorticoid receptor in the forebrains of mice leads to behavioural and neuroendocrine changes that mimic human depression.

Researchers probe the real effect of placebos. Katsnelson, A. Nature Medicine February (2005) The placebo effect has long been recognized, but not well understood. Recent evidence points to a neurophysiological basis for this phenomenon. One group reported that placebos mimic the therapeutic effects of drugs such as L -DOPA on a single neuron in the subthalamic nucleus in patients with Parkinson's disease, whereas another group showed that the greatest placebo-related pain relief was linked to the strongest neural response in pain-sensitive regions on functional MRI.

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Reviews and comment from the nature publishing group. Nat Rev Neurosci 6, 257 (2005).

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