The human brain is like a general in a bunker. Floating in its bubble of cerebrospinal fluid, it has no direct window to the outside world, so the only way for the brain to observe, comprehend, and order the body into action is to rely on information it receives. This information comes to it through a sophisticated system of sensory neurons that connect the brain to organs like the eye, ear, nose, and mouth.
In recent years, biologists and neuroscientists have been trying to discover the basic molecules and mechanisms that underlie this complicated communication system that is our senses, and one group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), has been making headway in trying to understand those that mediate our sense of touch.
Touch is perhaps the most fundamental of our five senses because it works through our largest organ, the skin. Through the skin we can detect temperature, texture, and understand both pleasure and pain. A few years ago, the Scripps Research and GNF team, which was led by Scripps Research Assistant Professor Ardem Patapoutian, was the first to clone a protein (TRPV3) that the researchers believed was involved in our ability to sense and detect warm temperature. But while temperature-gated action of TRPV3 suggested the protein might be communicating temperature to the brain, its distribution raised some doubts. Despite expectations that temperature sensors be present in sensory neurons innervating the skin, TRPV3 protein was found in actual skin cells (keratinocytes) and not in the neurons.
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
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