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Latest National Institute for Physiological Sciences Stories

2013-02-06 12:59:20

Researchers at the Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University and the National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Japan, along with colleagues from 9 other institutions, have identified an exceptional mouse model of schizophrenia. After screening over 160 mutant mouse strains with a systematic battery of behavioral tests, they identified a mutant mouse lacking the Schnurri-2 protein (Shn-2 KO) that exhibits behavioral deficits and other brain features consistent...

2012-06-26 14:35:12

Success in applying the technique to the basal ganglia, a brain region that is involved in movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease In the brains of humans and non-human primates, over 100 billion nerve cells build up complicated neural circuits and produce higher brain functions. When an attempt is made to perform gene therapy for neurological diseases like Parkinson's disease, it is necessary to specify a responsible neural circuit out of many complicated circuits. Until now,...

2012-06-18 11:20:31

Newly clarified function of 'indirect pathways' from brain to spinal motor neurons, controlling dexterous hand movements by newly developed 'the double viral vector transfection technique' The collaborative research team led by Professor Tadashi ISA, Project Assistant Professor Masaharu KINOSHITA from The National Institute for Physiological Sciences, The National Institutes of Natural Sciences and Fukushima Medical University and Kyoto University, developed "the double viral vector...

2012-04-10 08:58:35

Molecular mechanisms involved in the switch-on of the temperature sensor TRPM2 by hydrogen peroxide have been clarified Macrophages playing an important role in the immune system eat and fight against pathogens and foreign substances in the very beginning of infection. In this condition, macrophages produce reactive oxygen species for sterilization. However, the relation with the temperature sensor was not previously known. Professor Makoto TOMINAGA from National Institute for...

2012-03-08 15:52:48

The mechanism involved in the detection of hyperosmolarity by TRP channels is clarified, with a newly discovered molecule preventing apoptosis. A large change in the volume of a cell, from its basal level, is detrimental to its health. Therefore, our cells are equipped with mechanisms to maintain their constant volume. When a cell detects an environmental change that will alter its volume, due to changes in the osmotic pressure, it will adjust its internal water content...

2011-11-01 12:28:12

The research group headed by Professor Atsushi Nambu (The National Institute for Physiological Sciences) and Professor Masahiko Takada (Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University) has shown that the 'oscillatory' nature of electrical signals in subcortical nuclei, the basal ganglia, causes severe motor deficits in Parkinson's disease, by disturbing the information flow of motor commands. The group also found that chemical inactivation of the subthalamic nucleus (a structure of the basal...

2011-09-29 10:16:49

An effective recovery has been observed in stroke patients and those with spinal cord injuries who have strong vitality and motivation to rehabilitate in clinical practice. However, it was not really clear how motivation facilitates functional recovery in brain science. The joint research team consisting of Associate Professor Yukio NISHIMURA, and Professor Tadashi ISA from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Dr. Hirotaka ONOE, Team Leader in the Functional Probe Research...

2011-09-13 12:13:23

The mechanism which adjusts how to receive a signal in coordination with dendritic morphology has been revealed Neurons in the brain play a role as an electric wire conveying an electrical signal. Because this electric wire is connected with various joints (synapse), various brain functions can occur. A neuron which has dendritic trees on it, receives the signals with many synapses located on those dendritic trees, and carries out functions by combining the received signals. The research...

2011-07-21 12:25:31

The optgenetical engineering technology controls the activity of orexin neurons of the brain Recently, optogenetics, which controls the activity of neuron using the light-activated protein, has been getting a lot of attention. This light-activated protein works like a switch of neurons by sensing specific color of light. This time, Associate Professor Akihiro YAMANAKA and Dr. Tomomi Tsunematsu from National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), succeeded in suppressing only the...

2011-04-08 13:28:48

Functional change ('modal shift') of the TRP channel through evolution The animals on the earth have adapted themselves to the environmental temperature changes such as hot in deserts, or cold in the glacial epochs. However, the molecular mechanism for adaptation to thermal environments in the evolutionary process involving temperature sensors was not well understood. Professor Makoto Tominaga and Assistant Professor Shigeru Saito at The National Institute for Physiological Sciences (Okazaki...


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.