February 18, 2019

UMD News

Honey bee colonies around the world are at risk from a variety of threats, including pesticides, diseases, poor nutrition, and habitat loss. Recent research by UMD alumus Samuel Ramsey (Ph.D. '18, entomology) suggests that one threat stands well above the others: a parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, which specializes in attacking honey bees.


Some of the reasons for clinical trial failures are biological considerations, inadequate study design, improper dose selection, non-optimal assessment schedules, inappropriate efficacy metrics and markers, and issues with how the data are analyzed.
If laughter really is the best medicine, wouldn’t it be great if we could learn more about what goes on in the brain when we laugh? Recently, neuroscientists have pinpointed a part of the brain that, when stimulated, never fails to induce smiles and laughter.
Scientists have been able to detect the neural ‘fingerprints’ of a missing hand decades after amputation, regardless of the presence of phantom limb movements, but they could not find similar fingerprints in those born with a missing hand.
New research by neuroscientists shows that as neurons process information about texture from the skin, they each respond differently to various features of a surface, creating a high-dimensional representation of texture in the brain.
Humans are genetically similar to chimpanzees and bonobos, yet there exist obvious behavioral and cognitive differences. Now, researchers from the Salk Institute, in collaboration with researchers from UC San Diego, have developed a strategy to more easily study the early development of human neurons compared with the neurons of nonhuman primates.
A new study uses brain imaging to assess the relationship between sleep deprivation and pain threshold. Imaging shows that for sleep deprived subjects, activity spiked in pain perception regions and plunged in regions thought to help manage or reduce pain, with the biggest peaks occurring in the somatosensory cortex.

Calendar of Events

Cognitive Science Colloquium
Speaker: Michael Beran (Georgia State U.)
Title: "Chimpanzee Cognition: flexible, fallible, fascinating"
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019
Title: 3:30 p.m.
Location: 1103 Bioscience Research Building
More info

NACS Seminar
Speaker: Benjamin Greenwood (U. of Colorado, Denver)
Title: "Exercise builds a stress resilient brain"
Date: Friday, February 22, 2019
Time: 10:15 a.m.
Location: 1103 Bioscience Research Building
More info

BBI-ISR Joint Seminar
Speaker: Vikram Mitra (Apple, Inc.)
Title: ""Speech as a behavioral signal for mental and cognitive health: Some observations and results"
Date: Monday, February 25, 2019
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: 1146 A. V. Williams Building
More info

Notable Conferences, Workshops, & Webinars

Imaging the Brain at High Spatiotemporal Resolution
February 26, 2019, 12 noon
Webinar feat. Na Ji (UC Berkeley)

NER '19
 (International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering)
March 20-23, 2019
San Francisco, CA

Maryland Neuroimaging Retreat
April 9, 2019
Balitmore, MD

5th Annual BRAIN Initiative Investigators Meeting
April 11-13, 2019
Washington, DC

Funding Announcements

The Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation is awarded for innovative research that modulates neural activity through physical (electrical, magnetic, optical) stimulation of targeted sites in the nervous system with implications for translational medicine. Due March 15, 2019.

NCI Investigators and UMD Faculty are invited to submit collaborative projects for graduate student support. It is anticipated that several graduate students will be supported through NCI Cancer Research Training Award fellowships starting in the Fall 2019 semester and that tuition will be covered by the University of Maryland. Seed awards will be judged based on student qualifications as well as potential impact, relevance to cancer, innovation and synergism between physics, math, bioengineering & biocomputation and cancer biology. Proposals should be submitted to Stephanie Noel ( by 5 p.m. on March 29, 2019.

NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00) (RFA-NS-19-011). Application Receipt Date(s): December 13, 2018; April 15, 2019; December 13, 2019; April 15, 2020; December 15, 2020; April 15, 2021 , by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Predoctoral Training in Advanced Data Analytics for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (BSSR) - Institutional Research Training Program [T32] (RFA-OD-19-011) Application Receipt Date: May 25, 2019.

The Maryland Catalyst Fund program – formerly known as the Faculty Incentive Program – is the University of Maryland’s internal faculty research support program and a key resource in the university’s overall effort to expand its research activity, visibility and impact. The program aims to enable innovative research, to incentivize the pursuit of large, complex, and high-impact research initiatives, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural research awards.

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