Campus & Community

Research in brief

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DEAS researchers model how brain encodes information

By mining direct recordings of neuronal activity in live animals as they viewed natural scenes, researchers in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a more realistic model of how the brain encodes real-world visual information.

The work, published in the Nov. 24 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, could help move scientists beyond artificial visual stimuli typically used in experiments – such as spots, bars, or sine waves – to a better understanding of how the brain processes dynamic objects such as trees swaying, cars speeding by, or joggers stretching.

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Success of experimental herpes vaccine builds momentum for human clinical trials

A new study provides evidence that a herpes vaccine developed by a Harvard Medical School researcher is a strong candidate for testing in humans. The study, published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Virology, compared three different experimental vaccines for herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), the virus that causes most cases of genital herpes.

HSV-2 infects one in five Americans, and its prevalence has reached 50 percent in some developing countries, where it also seems to be helping to fuel the spread of HIV. HSV-2 infection, though incurable, typically does not cause major health problems, but can be life-threatening in immunocompromised people and newborn babies infected by their mothers.

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