Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology has enabled genetic engineering feats previously considered impracticable, offering great hopes for solutions to problems facing society. We consider it timely to highlight how CRISPR can benefit public health, medicine, and agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and offer recommendations for successful implementation.
Early sensory cortex is typically investigated in response to sensory stimulation, masking the contribution of internal signals. Recently, van Kerkoerle and colleagues reported that attention and memory signals segregate from sensory signals within specific layers of primary visual cortex, providing insight into the role of internal signals in sensory processing.
Recent developments confirm predictions by the IEEE that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will have extensive impact on the future landscape of higher education. New degree structures are being introduced and awarding of verified MOOC credentials is becoming more widespread, as is recognition of MOOC credits by universities and employers. The question is whether this disruptive influence is being sufficiently used as an incentive for re-evaluation of standard practices and for driving strategic change in higher education.
Many of the pharmacology teachers surveyed in a questionnaire on pharmacology teaching and learning are aware of nontraditional teaching and learning methods and believe they are both appropriate to the discipline and effective in producing learning gain in the students. The reasons that nontraditional teaching methods are not used extensively include a shortage of staff time together with a perception that nontraditional teaching methods are staff-time intensive, a lack of effective motivation and reward of staff by their institutions for implementing nontraditional teaching methods and a shortage of the appropriate facilities and resources required.
There is accumulating evidence from behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging studies that the acquisition of motor skills involves both perceptual and motor learning. Perceptual learning alters movements, motor learning, and motor networks of the brain. Motor learning changes perceptual function and the sensory circuits of the brain. Here, we review studies of both human limb movement and speech that indicate that plasticity in sensory and motor systems is reciprocally linked. Taken together, this points to an approach to motor learning in which perceptual learning and sensory plasticity have a fundamental role.
Highlights • Learning involves synapse gains and losses to provide memory traces of learned skills. • Synapse rearrangements produce dedicated sub-circuits that support adaptive behavior. • Synapse stabilization involves 12–15 hours of cellular and network plasticity reactions. • Memory consolidation is coupled to synapse validation and synapse elimination.
To associate events that are disparate in time, the brain must record, retain and perhaps even reflect on the individual events themselves. Aspects of such learning can be probed with trace conditioning, during which an animal learns to associate events that are temporally distant from one another. For decades, we have known that the formation of so-called trace memories (in which one stimulus is associated with a second stimulus that is discontinuous and later in time) depends on the hippocampal formation. Recent findings indicate that the hippocampus is crucial for the initial acquisition of trace memories but not for their expression or long-term storage. More recent findings implicate neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and awareness in the formation of trace memories.
As we enter the 21st century, we face a world that will be increasingly dominated by science and technology. More and more jobs will require many of the analytical and thinking skills of a scientist. Citizens everywhere must also become better able to evaluate and understand the judgements of scientific and technical experts when making personal and community decisions. To spread the values and knowledge of science much more widely throughout our societies, we must also spread scientists. Therefore, advanced training in science and the acquisition of important skills through an extensive exposure to research are valuable tools for a wide variety of occupations. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.