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Science

Researchers find neurons that learn to smell a threat |

We use our sense of smell to determine whether a new environment is safe or dangerous, whether we are aware of it or not. In fact, much of the animal kingdom relies on this ability for survival and reproduction. Researchers at the University of Rochester’s Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience are uncovering new insights into […]

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Science

This Gene Therapy Could Keep Calm The Overactive Neurons That Cause Epileptic Seizures

Something like 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy. While the majority of these people are able to use medications to manage and prevent their seizures, around one-third don’t respond well to these treatments. In such cases, the only option available to bring seizures under control is to remove the part of the brain where seizures […]

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Life Style

Growing motor neurons guided by ‘love-hate relationship’ with blood vessels: Researchers find neurons navigate the body in a way that is influenced by genes controlling blood vessel cells

When neurons involved in movement — called motor neurons — form, they must build connections that reach from the brain, brainstem, or spinal cord all the way to the head, arms, or the tips of the toes. How neurons navigate these systems and “decide” where and how to grow has largely been a mystery. Now, […]

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Scientists May Have Identified The Neurons That Give Birth to Fear

It’s sometimes said that you can smell fear, when, in fact, the signals that generate fear are often multi-sensory. A fire, for instance, has heat, smoke, and smell to give it away. An eagle flying overhead casts a shadow and creates a flapping sound as it swoops. It would be helpful for survival if animals […]

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Science

New Study May Explain Why Not All Birds Are Actually Bird-Brained

Birds’ brains are a bit of a mystery. Despite the small size of their noggins, parrots and corvids show remarkable intelligence, solving some puzzles as well as primates.  Previous studies have shown the brains of songbirds and parrots contain very large numbers of neurons in their forebrains, sometimes even more than monkeys.   But while […]

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Science

Mice Study Reveals a New Signal Pathway in The Brain That Regulates Binge Eating

Scientists have discovered a new signaling pathway in the brain that controls food intake, and it could eventually give us improved treatments for binge eating – perhaps even a drug that turns off the desire to binge eat at the neural level.   The particular neurons to start with here are agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons. Researchers […]

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Science

Scientists Find Surprising Neuron Differences Between Primates And Non-Primates

Scientists taking a very close look at the architecture of neuron cells in the brain have found a key structural difference between primates and non-primates in the cortical neurons – cells that are part of the cerebrum.   The findings give us a greater insight into this most complex of organs, and how the form […]

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Science

Neural ‘Poisonous Flowers’ Could Be The Source of Alzheimer’s Plaque, Says Study

Alzheimer’s disease has long thwarted our best efforts to pinpoint its underlying causes. Now, a new study in mice suggests that ‘poisonous flowers’ bulging with cellular debris could be the root source of one hallmark of the wretched disease and a beautifully sinister sign of a failing waste disposal system inside damaged brain cells.   […]

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Science

Mouse Study Identifies a Brand New Type of Neuron Involved in Important Memories

With almost 90 billion neurons in our brains, it’s no wonder we’re still piecing together much about how these various types of cells do their work. A team of neuroscientists has now identified another neuron flavor in mice, and its place in the complex circuitry of mammalian brains.   These cells are located in the […]

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Science

Olfactory neurons adapt to the surrounding environment

Cross-section of the nasal cavity of a mouse (wide view). Within the dense population of olfactory neurons (in blue), the olfactory neurons expressing a specific type of receptor (Olfr151) are marked in bright green. Credit: Madlaina Boillat Olfactory receptors, present on the surface of sensory neurons in the nasal cavity, recognize odorant molecules and relay […]