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Latest Neurons Stories

2011-07-08 14:27:05

Oh, the challenges of being a neuron, responsible for essential things like muscle contraction, gland secretion and sensitivity to touch, sound and light, yet constantly bombarded with signals from here, there and everywhere. How on earth are busy nerve cells supposed to pick out and respond to relevant signals amidst all that information overload? Somehow neurons do manage to accomplish the daunting task, and they do it with more finesse than anyone ever realized, new research by University...

2011-05-25 13:57:19

New information has come to light explaining how injured skin cells and touch-sensing nerve fibers coordinate their regeneration during wound healing. UCLA researchers Sandra Rieger and Alvaro Sagasti found that a chemical signal released by wounded skin cells promotes the regeneration of sensory fibers, thus helping to ensure that touch sensation is restored to healing skin. They discovered that the reactive oxygen species hydrogen peroxide, which is found at high concentrations at wounds,...

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2011-05-13 08:02:13

Researchers including members from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen have developed a new method for making detailed X-ray images of brain cells. The method, called SAXS-CT, can map the myelin sheaths of nerve cells, which are important for conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. The results have been published in the scientific journal, NeuroImage. The myelin sheaths of nerve cells are lamellar membranes surrounding the neuronal axons. The myelin...

2011-05-12 22:51:21

New data offer hints to why Parkinson's disease so selectively harms brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dopamine is involved in brain cell communications including the signals that control movement. As Parkinson's kills the dopamine-producing cells, patients begin to develop tremors, problems moving and other symptoms. The new research shows that a drug known to damage dopamine-producing nerve cells and...

2011-04-29 01:27:41

Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that electrical oscillations in the brain, long thought to play a role in organizing cognitive functions such as memory, are critically important for the brain to store the information that allows us to navigate through our physical environment. The scientists report in the April 29 issue of the journal Science that neurons called "grid cells" that create maps of the external environment in one portion of our brain require precisely timed electrical...

2011-04-29 01:26:31

New findings by to be published in the journal Science In a paper to be published today [April 29, 2011] in the journal Science, a team of Boston University researchers under the direction of Michael Hasselmo, professor of psychology and director of Boston University's Computational Neurophysiology Laboratory, and Mark Brandon, a recent graduate of the Graduate Program for Neuroscience at Boston University, present findings that support the hypothesis that spatial coding by grid cells...

2011-03-23 03:32:05

In the cerebral cortex, the balance between excitation (pyramidal neurons) and inhibition (interneurons) is thought to be mediated by the primary mode of neuronal communication: "all-or-none" action potentials, or spikes. However, Dr. Yousheng Shu's research group at the Institute of Neuroscience of Chinese Academy of Sciences has discovered a new strategy by which the cortex can maintain this balance, by showing that the amount of inhibition depends on the membrane potentials (Vm) in...

2011-02-18 12:31:04

Findings challenge conventional wisdom of how neurons operate Neurons are complicated, but the basic functional concept is that synapses transmit electrical signals to the dendrites and cell body (input), and axons carry signals away (output). In one of many surprise findings, Northwestern University scientists have discovered that axons can operate in reverse: they can send signals to the cell body, too. It also turns out axons can talk to each other. Before sending signals in reverse, axons...

2011-01-26 20:35:14

New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine describes a key molecular mechanism in nerve fibers that ensures the rapid conductance of nervous system impulses. New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine describes a key molecular mechanism in nerve fibers that ensures the rapid conductance of nervous system impulses. The findings appear online Jan. 27, 2011 in the journal Neuron. Our hard-wired nerve fibers or...

2011-01-26 17:36:20

The research may lead to a better understanding of diseases such as autism and schizophrenia Connected highways of nerve cells carry information to and from different areas of the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Scientists are trying to draw a complete atlas of these connections"”sometimes referred to as the "connectome""”to gain a better understanding of how the brain functions in health and disease. New research conducted at The Scripps Research Institute shows that...


Word of the Day
drawcansir
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.
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