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Latest Cellular neuroscience Stories

2010-04-15 13:09:18

Cultured cells in microfluidic chambers enable systematic experiments at the synapse In order to be able to understand complex organs such as the brain or the nervous system, simplified model systems are required. A group of scientists led by the Frankfurt brain researcher Erin Schuman has successfully developed a novel method to grow cultured neurons in order to investigate basic mechanisms of memory. The researchers grew two separate populations of neurons in microfluidic platforms. These...

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2010-02-20 08:21:55

Göttingen-based Max Planck researcher decodes a molecular process that controls the growth of nerve cells Brain researcher Hiroshi Kawabe has discovered the workings of a process that had been completely overlooked until now, and that allows nerve cells in the brain to grow and form complex networks. The study, which has now been published in the journal Neuron, shows that an enzyme which usually controls the destruction of protein components has an unexpected function in nerve cells: it...

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2010-01-22 10:58:45

A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, in Germany, led by the Spanish physicist Rub©n Fernández-Busnadiego, has managed to obtain 3D images of the vesicles and filaments involved in communication between neurons. The method is based on a novel technique in electron microscopy, which cools cells so quickly that their biological structures can be frozen while fully active. "We used electron cryotomography, a new technique in microscopy based on ultra-fast...

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2010-01-20 12:00:11

Maturation disorders of nerve terminals may trigger autism; researchers in Heidelberg publish in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences For brain cells to communicate, the contacts to each other must function. The protein molecule neuroligin-1 plays an important role in this as it stimulates the necessary maturation processes at the contact sites (synapses) of the nerves. A synaptic maturation disorder is possibly involved in the development of autism. Dr. Thomas Dresbach and his...

2009-12-28 16:43:06

The early stages of Alzheimer's disease are thought to occur at the synapse, since synapse loss is associated with memory dysfunction. Evidence suggests that amyloid beta (AÃŽ²) plays an important role in early synaptic failure, but little has been understood about AÃŽ²'s effect on the plasticity of dendritic spines. These spines are short outgrowths of dendrites (extensions of neurons) that relay electrical impulses in the brain. A single neuron's dendrite...

2009-12-23 16:47:33

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other. "When we learn new things, when we store memories, there are a number of things that have to...

2009-12-06 13:51:03

Structurally, functionally different cell component replaces injured part Studies with fruit flies have shown that the specialized nerve cells called neurons can rebuild themselves after injury. These results, potentially relevant to research efforts to improve the treatment of patients with traumatic nerve damage or neurodegenerative disease, were presented at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 49th Annual Meeting, Dec. 5-9, 2009 in San Diego. An injured neuron's remarkable ability...

2009-12-02 19:20:52

The transmission of information from one neuron to the next is an unseen intricate ballet. Tiny vesicles "“ bubbles containing the chemical neurotransmitters that make information exchange possible"”travel to the tip of neurons (synapses), where they fuse with the cell's membrane in a process called exocytosis. The extra membrane is then captured in a process called endocytosis and recycled to form a new vesicle to enable the next cycle of release. The two processes, exocytosis...

2009-10-14 13:22:18

Our brains, it turns out, are eco-friendly. A study published in Science and reviewed by F1000 Biology members Venkatesh Murthy and Jakob Sorensen reveals that our brains have the amazing ability to be energy efficient. Brain cells generate and propagate nerve impulses, or action potentials, by controlling the flow of positive sodium and potassium ions in and out of the cells. Re-establishing the ion equilibrium after an action potential requires energy. The amount of energy needed for action...

2009-09-21 09:06:00

The human brain consists of about 100 billion (1011) neurons, which altogether form about 100 trillion (1014) synaptic connections with each other. A crucial mechanism for the generation of this complex wiring pattern is the formation of neuronal branches. The neurobiologists Dr. Hannes Schmidt and Professor Fritz G. Rathjen at the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, have now discovered a molecule that regulates this vital process. At the same time they have...


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ramage
  • Boughs or branches.
  • Warbling of birds in trees.
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