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Latest Chemical synapse Stories

2011-11-17 03:38:45

Like a gardener who stakes some plants and weeds out others, the brain is constantly building networks of synapses, while pruning out redundant or unneeded synapses. Researchers at The Jackson Laboratory led by Assistant Professor Zhong-wei Zhang, Ph.D., have discovered a factor in synapse-building, also showing that the building and pruning processes occur independent of each other. Mammals are born with functioning but not-yet-developed brains. After birth, external stimuli and internal...

2011-10-31 23:33:09

Can the nerve signaling inhibitor tomosyn help retain long-term memory? A new study by two University of Illinois at Chicago biologists points to the link. Findings by Janet Richmond and David Featherstone, both professors of biological sciences at UIC, are reported in the Oct. 31 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "This is the first really comprehensive effort to look at the role of tomosyn in fly learning," said Richmond, who until now studied...

2011-10-19 20:20:33

OPHN1 is found to be essential for mGluR-dependent long-term depression at synapses Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have solved part of a puzzle concerning the relationship between changes in the strength of synapses — the tiny gaps across which nerve cells in the brain communicate — and dysfunctions in neural circuits that have been linked with drug addiction, mental retardation and other cognitive disorders. A team led by CSHL Professor Linda Van Aelst...

Wake-sleep Patterns Affect Brain Synapses During Adolescence
2011-10-10 04:39:10

An ongoing lack of sleep during adolescence could lead to more than dragging, foggy teens, a University of Wisconsin-Madison study suggests. Researchers have found that short-term sleep restriction in adolescent mice prevented the balanced growth and depletion of brain synapses, connections between nerve cells where communication occurs. "One possible implication of our study is that if you lose too much sleep during adolescence, especially chronically, there may be lasting consequences...

2011-10-05 19:30:11

Research gives insight into 50-year-old mystery -- zinc important for learning and memory Zinc plays a critical role in regulating how neurons communicate with one another, and could affect how memories form and how we learn. The new research, in the current issue of Neuron, was authored by Xiao-an Zhang, now a chemistry professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), and colleagues at MIT and Duke University. Researchers have been trying to pin down the role of zinc in the...

Brain Makes Memories Rhythmically
2011-10-04 04:55:18

The brain learns through changes in the strength of its synapses -- the connections between neurons -- in response to stimuli. Now, in a discovery that challenges conventional wisdom on the brain mechanisms of learning, UCLA neuro-physicists have found there is an optimal brain "rhythm," or frequency, for changing synaptic strength. And further, like stations on a radio dial, each synapse is tuned to a different optimal frequency for learning. The findings, which provide a grand-unified...

2011-09-29 09:24:18

Nicolas G. Bazan, MD, Ph.D, Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and David Stark, an MD/Ph.D student working in his lab, have discovered how a key chemical neurotransmitter that interacts with two receptors in the brain promotes either normal function or a disease process -- determining whether brain cells live or die. The work is published and highlighted in the September 28, 2011 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience....

2011-09-28 10:35:45

Researchers working with adult mice have discovered that learning and memory were profoundly affected when they altered the amounts of a certain protein in specific parts of the mammals' brains. The protein, called kibra, was linked in previous studies in humans to memory and protection against late-onset Alzheimer's disease. The new work in mice, reported in the Sept. 22 issue of Neuron, shows that kibra is an essential part of a complex of proteins that control the sculpting of brain...

2011-09-19 07:33:36

The crystal structure of the dynamin protein – one of the molecular machines that makes cells work – has been revealed, bringing insights into a class of molecules with a wide influence on health and disease. "It's a really cool structure," said Jodi Nunnari, professor and chair of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis and senior author of the paper, to be published Sept. 18 in the journal Nature. "This is a really important class of molecules for regulating membrane...

2011-09-15 05:13:46

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new tool allows scientists to see the immune system like never before. The device, a stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope, provides sharp images at extremely small scales. It shows how granules from natural killer cells pass through openings in dynamic cell structures to destroy tumor cells and cells infected by viruses. "This new technology enables researchers to see individual elements previously below the physical limits of imaging using light,"...


Word of the Day
glogg
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).
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