The key to understanding our brains may lie within a one-millimeter long worm, new research from Rockefeller University indicates. Reporting in the June issue of Developmental Cell, Shai Shaham, Ph.D., and graduate student Elliot Perens use the roundworm, C. elegans, to investigate the mysterious glial cell, which makes up 90 percent of the human brain and, when it malfunctions, can contribute to diseases like Parkinsons disease and schizophrenia.
Studying glial cells is technically difficult as they are essential for neuronal cell survival: disturbing them in any way puts the organisms life in jeopardy. Shaham and Perens show that worms are the perfect model system to study the function of these cells in the nervous system, because the glial cells can be manipulated and the neurons still form and function, though not entirely as normal.
"Glial cells have been traditionally hard to study in vertebrates because it is difficult to ask how they influence neurons beyond how they affect a neurons survival," says Shaham, head of the Strang Laboratory of Developmental Genetics. "This is the first paper to take a serious crack at glial cells in C. elegans. It shows that the worm really is a great system in which to study glial cells, because we are able to get the kind of answers that could help us understand how they are functioning in the human brain."
Kristine Kelly | EurekAlert!
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences