Dr. Adi Mizrahi of the Department of Neurobiology at the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University, used mouse models to study how neurons, or nerve cells, develop from an undifferentiated cellular sphere into a rich and complex cell. This has great significance for the future of brain research, said Dr. Mizrahi, since “the structural and functional complexity of nerve cells remains one of the biggest mysteries of neuroscience, and we now have a model to study this complexity directly.”
The results of Dr. Mizrahi’s groundbreaking work appeared in the online edition of Nature Neuroscience.
Using special microscopic imaging techniques, combined with virus gene technology, Dr. Mizrahi was able to develop an experimental model to study development of neural dendrites in vivo. The dendrites are the string-like extensions of the neuron that spread out to reach other neurons and serve as the points of communication between the neurons.
The model employed by Dr. Mizrahi in his research was the newborn neuron population which develops into the olfactory bulb of adult mice, providing them with a sense of smell. The development and maintenance of newborn neurons in this area was assessed by time-lapse imaging over several days at different stages of development. Mizrahi revealed that dendritic formation is highly dynamic. Moreover, once incorporated into the network, adult-born neurons in the study also remained dynamic and capable of continuous change.
This method provides a mechanism for observing, for the first time in a mammal, how a neuron develops into a rich and complex cell and how, once developed, neurons are maintained in the highly active and changing environment of the brain.
As for further research that some day could lead to significant breakthroughs in treatment of neural disorders, Dr. Mizrahi noted that “there are only a few small areas in the brain which are capable of neurogenesis, and they hide secrets we want to reveal.”
Jerry Barach | alfa
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
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.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
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.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy