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Latest Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology Stories

2010-11-10 18:01:10

The eye is not just a lens that takes pictures and converts them into electrical signals. As with all vertebrates, nerve cells in the human eye separate an image into different image channels once it has been projected onto the retina. This pre-sorted information is then transmitted to the brain as parallel image sequences. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried have now discovered that fruit flies process optical information in a similar way. The evidence...

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2010-07-26 09:58:15

Neurobiologists can now activate specific nerve cells to study the association between sensations and negative experiences It is common sense that it's worth learning what things and situations are harmful to us if we want to have a long and healthy life. For example, after getting a nasty sunburn, we learn our lesson, and apply sun cream before going sunbathing next time. The importance of such learned avoidance strategies is reflected by the fact that even fruit flies possess them. These...

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2010-07-12 10:07:44

What would be the point of holding a soccer world championship if we couldn't distinguish the ball from its background? Simply unthinkable! But then again, wouldn't it be fantastic if your favorite team's striker could see the movements of the ball in slow motion! Unfortunately, this advantage only belongs to flies. The minute brains of these aeronautic acrobats process visual movements in only fractions of a second. Just how the brain of the fly manages to perceive motion with such speed and...

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2010-04-07 08:06:54

In Germany alone, more than 300,000 people are afflicted by Parkinson's disease and the number is growing steadily. However, despite comprehensive research, scientists are still somewhat in the dark as to the molecular changes that trigger this illness. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried, Germany, together with colleagues from Munich and Hamburg, have demonstrated using a new animal model that nerve cells do not begin to die to the extent found in...

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2009-11-05 14:38:07

Real-time observation sheds new light on multiple sclerosis In diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cells of the immune system infiltrate the brain tissue, where they cause immense damage. For many years, it was an enigma as to how these cells can escape from the bloodstream. This is no trivial feat, given that specialized blood vessels act as a barrier between the nervous system and the bloodstream. Until now, tissue sections provided the sole evidence that the immune cells really do manage...

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2009-06-10 13:45:00

Over 100,000 people suffer from multiple sclerosis in Germany alone. Despite intensive research, the factors that trigger the disease and influence its progress remain unclear. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried and an international research team have succeeded in attaining three important new insights into the disease. It would appear that B cells play an unexpected role in the spontaneous development of multiple sclerosis and that particularly aggressive...

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2008-11-18 09:54:15

Connections between nerve cells remain intact even when temporarily put out of service Thanks to our ability to learn and to remember, we can perform tasks that other living things can not even dream of. However, we are only just beginning to get the gist of what really goes on in the brain when it learns or forgets something. What we do know is that changes in the contacts between nerve cells play an important role. But can these structural changes account for that well-known phenomenon that...


Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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