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Latest Chemical synapse Stories

2005-09-02 15:47:34

A UCSF study has found that a specific signaling link between neurons and muscles in the fruit fly is essential for keeping the insect's nervous system stable. The findings are relevant for ongoing research in identifying causes and developing treatments for neuromuscular neurodegenerative diseases in humans, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, says study co-author Graeme Davis, PhD, associate professor and vice chair of the Department of...

2005-08-26 19:44:59

New Haven, Conn. - Inhibitory systems are essential for controlling the pattern of activity in the cortex, which has important implications for the mechanisms of cortical operation, according to a Yale School of Medicine study in Neuron. The findings demonstrate the inhibitory network is central to controlling not only the amplitude, extent and duration of activation of recurrent excitatory cortical networks, but also the precise timing of action potentials, and, thus, network...

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2005-08-04 17:40:00

Nerve cells need lots of energy to work properly, and the energy needs to be delivered to the right place at the right time. By inducing a mutation in fruit flies, researchers have figured out that a particular gene governs the movement of cells' energy-producing units, called mitochondria. Rather than moving to the ends of the cells, or synapses, where cell-to-cell communication takes place, mitochondria in mutant fruit flies just piled up in the center of the cell. Even so, the mutant cells...

2005-07-14 01:00:00

Researchers have constructed a new detailed map of the three-dimensional terrain of a synapse -- the junction between neurons which are critical for communication in the brain and nervous system. The "nano-map," which shows the tiny spines and valleys resolved at nanometer scale, or one-billionth of a meter, has already proven its worth in changing scientists' views of the synaptic landscape. Using the map as a guide, the research team, led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator...

2005-07-14 16:30:00

La Jolla, CA - Every neurobiology textbook invariably states that nerve cells communicate with each other through synapses, the specialized cell-cell contacts found at the end of the cells' threadlike extensions. In this week's journal Science, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and the University of California at San Diego report that nerve cells, or neurons, may not have to rely on traditionally defined synapses to "talk" to each other. The new study indicates that...

2005-07-13 15:15:00

Nerve cells relay messages at blink-of-the-eye speeds by squirting chemicals called neurotransmitters across tiny gaps called synapses to awaiting message receptors. But lots of different receptors and neurotransmitters work simultaneously. Which goes where to send the proper message? Research reported in the July 20 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience (released online July 13) by a team led by David Featherstone, a University of Illinois at Chicago assistant professor of biology, provides...

2005-07-13 14:25:00

Scientists at New York University School of Medicine reveal the important role of early experience in shaping neuronal development and brain plasticity in a new study published in the July 14 issue of the journal Nature. In mice, the researchers found that sensory deprivation prevented the substantial loss of synapses that typically occurs in growing animals. The effects were most pronounced in the period from young adolescence to adulthood. Synapses are the gaps between neurons through...

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2004-12-02 09:20:36

Mineral seems to regulate key brain receptor involved in learning HealthDayNews -- Along with its many other functions in the body, magnesium may also help maintain learning and memory in middle age and beyond, according to a study in the Dec. 2 issue of Neuron. Scientists already knew that magnesium helps build bones, regulate body temperature, produce proteins and release energy stored in muscles. The new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers found that magnesium also...


Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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