A family of proteins that help build the cytoskeleton, or the bones of the cell, also play an important role in learning and memory, according to a study published this month in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Marina Picciotto, associate professor of psychiatry, pharmacology and neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine, and the senior author of the study, studied mice missing one of these proteins--â-adducin--and found the cytoskeleton developed normally. However, the mice were impaired during fear conditioning and memory exercises. "We were hoping to find a mechanism that cells use to make short term changes in nerve cell communication permanent, but we were surprised that losing â-adducin made such a big change in both the nerve cell communication and in behavioral measures of memory," Picciotto said.
The focus of the study is long-term potentiation, which is a form of neuronal plasticity and may form the biological basis for some kinds of memory. Long-term potentiation refers to the fact that if two neurons in the hippocampus are active at the same time, the connection between them can be strengthened. This change, or potentiation, can last for hours to days. This may serve to lay a foundation for more permanent changes, such as the construction of new connections, or synapses, between the neurons. "If you learn to do something new, your neurons have to adapt and change to create a stronger, more direct pathway between neurons," Picciotto said. "The protein â-adducin appears to be important for making those new connections."
Jacqueline Weaver | EurekAlert!
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research