Many implications seen for biomedical research
The human brain is estimated to contain 100 billion neurons (the number 1 followed by eleven zeros). Because a typical neuron forms ~1,000 synaptic connections to other neurons, the total number of synapses in the brain is estimated to be 100 trillion (the number 1 followed by 14 zeros). The thin projections from neurons that form connections with each other (axons and dendrites) can be thought of as the biological "wiring" of the brain.
Neuroscientists already know that brain neurons can and do form specific rather than random connections with each other to generate the observed wiring diagram of the brain. However, the precise patterns of such non-random connections, how the patterns are formed, and how these patterns underlie the brains extraordinary information processing capacity are important questions that Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory theoretical neuroscientist Dmitri Chklovskii is exploring. An article published in this weeks issue of PLoS Biology (March 1, 2005) describes Chklovskiis discovery of strongly preferred patterns of connectivity or scaffolds within the wiring diagram of the rat brain. The patterns are likely to correspond to modules that play an important role in brain function not only in rats, but also in humans.
Peter Sherwood | EurekAlert!
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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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