Dendrites Current Events

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Newly identified dendritic action potentials give humans unique brain power
Newly discovered action potentials in neuronal dendrites neurons uniquely amplify the computational power of the human brain, according to a new study. (2020-01-02)

New insights into how sleep helps the brain to reorganize itself
A new study has given new insights into how sleep contributes to brain plasticity -- the ability for our brain to change and reorganise itself -- and could pave the way for new ways to help people with learning and memory disorders. (2017-10-02)

Pattern in protein manufacture found in hippocampus
A pattern of protein manufacture in the hippocampus --t he part of the brain devoted to making memories -- has been discovered by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Using multiphoton microscopy, the researchers measured the translation of a genetic message (mRNA) into a protein that fluoresces. (2001-10-22)

What makes an axon an axon?
Inside every axon is a dendrite waiting to get out. Hedstrom et al. converted mature axons into dendrites by banishing a protein crucial for neuron development. The results suggest that this transformation could occur after nerve cell damage. (2008-11-10)

How nerve cells grow
Brain researcher Hiroshi Kawabe has discovered the workings of a process that had been completely overlooked until now, and that allows nerve cells in the brain to grow and form complex networks. The study shows that an enzyme which usually controls the destruction of protein components has an unexpected function in nerve cells: it controls the structure of the cytoskeleton and thus ensures that nerve cells can form the tree-like extensions that are necessary for signal transmission in the brain. (2010-02-19)

A brain filter for clear information transmission
Every activity in the brain involves the transfer of signals between neurons. Frequently, as many as one thousand signals rain down on a single neuron simultaneously. To ensure that precise signals are delivered, the brain possesses a sophisticated inhibitory system. (2012-09-06)

Researchers shed light on how our eyes process visual cues
The mystery of how human eyes compute the direction of moving light has been made clearer by scientists at The University of Queensland. Using advanced electrical recording techniques, researchers from UQ's Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) discovered how nerve cells in the eye's retina were integral to the process. (2017-06-07)

A window into battery life for next-gen lithium cells
Dendrites, whiskers of lithium that grow inside batteries and can cause fires like those in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, are the bane of next-generation lithium batteries. (2016-10-18)

Visualizing protein synthesis in living neurons
HHMI researchers have developed a technique that allows them to visualize protein synthesis in living neurons. Their studies provide unequivocal proof that dendrites -- the fine fibers that extend from neurons -- can synthesize proteins on their own. (2001-05-24)

Brain is 10 times more active than previously measured, UCLA researchers find
A new UCLA study could change scientists' understanding of how the brain works -- and could lead to new approaches for treating neurological disorders and for developing computers that 'think' more like humans. (2017-03-09)

A close look at lithium batteries
Batteries with metallic lithium anodes offer enhanced efficiency compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries because of their higher capacity. However, safety concerns and a short lifespan stand in the way. To better analyze the causes of malfunctions and premature failure of such batteries, researchers have developed a technique that visualizes the distribution of active lithium on the anode and differentiates between dendrites and 'dead' lithium. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the technique makes use of a fluorescent dye. (2019-04-24)

Activity in dendrites is critical in memory formation
Northwestern University researchers have discovered how neurons in the brain might allow some experiences to be remembered while others are forgotten. Using a unique microscope, they peered into the brain of a living animal navigating a virtual reality maze. Images of individual neurons called place cells showed that, surprisingly, the activity of the cell body and its dendrites can be different. A lasting memory of an experience was not formed by neurons when cell bodies were activated but dendrites were not. (2014-10-26)

Dendrites filtering neuron's excitement
Kyoto University research shows that Purkinje cell dendrites filter out signals to the Soma. Distal dendrites modulate the incoming signals through intrinsic plasticity associated with the down-regulation of SK channels (2019-12-06)

Neurons' 'antennae' are unexpectedly active in neural computation
Dendrites, the branching extensions of most brain cells, appear to play a surprisingly large role in neurons' computational ability, according to a new MIT study. (2019-06-06)

New insights into pruning
When an organism develops, non-specific connections between nerve cells degenerate. Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence (University of Münster, Germany) have now discovered that the spatial organization of a nerve cell influences the degeneration of its cell processes. The study has been published in Development. (2018-06-26)

UNC neuroscientists discover new 'mini-neural computer' in the brain
Dendrites, the branch-like projections of neurons, were once thought to be passive wiring in the brain. But now researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that these dendrites do more than relay information from one neuron to the next. They actively process information, and multiply the brain's computing power. (2013-10-30)

Virus hijacks cell's transportation system
A deadly tick-borne virus uses the host neuron's transportation system to move their RNA, resulting in the local reproduction of the virus and severe neurological symptoms. (2017-09-01)

Autopilot guides proteins in brain
Proteins go everywhere in the cell and do all sorts of work, but a fundamental question has eluded biologists: how do the proteins know where to go? A new USC study offers one answer. (2009-04-20)

Treatment window for fragile x likely doesn't close after childhood
A Drexel University-led study looked into human and rat brain samples and found that the biological structures potentially contributing to Fragile X syndrome are present in adult brains -- something that mouse samples did not show. (2017-03-20)

A new pathway for neuron repair is discovered
A brand-new pathway for neuron repair has been discovered that could have implications for faster and improved healing after nerve damage. The research demonstrates, for the first time, that dendrites, the component of nerve cells that receive information from the brain, have the capacity to regrow after an injury. (2014-01-09)

Chemists offer enhanced 3-D look inside batteries
A team of chemists has developed a method to yield highly detailed, three-dimensional images of the insides of batteries. The technique, based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), offers an enhanced approach to monitor the condition of these power sources in real time. (2016-09-12)

Extending a battery's lifetime with heat
Over time, the electrodes inside a rechargeable battery cell can grow tiny, branch-like filaments called dendrites, causing short circuits that kill the battery or even ignite it in flames. But thanks to new experiments and computer simulations, researchers from the California Institute of Technology have explored in detail how higher temperatures can break down these dendrites -- and possibly extend battery lifetimes. They discuss their findings in this week's Journal of Chemical Physics. (2015-10-01)

MIT IDs proteins key to brain function
MIT researchers have identified a family of proteins key to the formation of the communication networks critical for normal brain function. Their research could lead to new treatments for brain injury and disease. (2007-11-19)

How the neuron sprouts its branches
Neurobiologists have gained new insights into how neurons control growth of the intricate tracery of branches called dendrites that enable them to connect with their neighbors. Dendritic connections are the basic receiving stations by which neurons form the signaling networks that constitute the brain's circuitry. (2005-12-09)

QBI researchers identify signals triggering dendrite growth
A study in worms that are less than a millimeter long has yielded clues that may be important for understanding how nerves grow. A team of researchers from the Queensland Brain Institute has probed the molecular mechanisms which prompt the development of dendrites, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The findings are published Sept. 20 in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology. (2011-09-20)

The architects of the brain
Bochum's neurobiologists have found that certain receptors for the neurotransmitter glutamate determine the architecture of nerve cells in the developing brain. Individual receptor variants lead to especially long and branched processes called dendrites, which the cells communicate with. The researchers also showed that the growth-promoting property of the receptors is linked to how much calcium they allow to flow into the cells. (2011-10-26)

Think global, act local: New roles for protein synthesis at synapses
Planck researchers found over 2500 mRNA along dendrites and axons. (2012-05-10)

Autism-linked gene stunts developing dendrites
Increased expression of a gene linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) leads to a remodeling of dendrites during brain development, according to a new study conducted in cultured neurons and an ASD mouse model published in JNeurosci. The research identifies a series of cellular and molecular events that may contribute to differences in neuronal connectivity that underlie the social and communication deficits observed in autism. (2017-12-04)

New microscope decodes complex eye circuitry
The sensory cells in the retina of the mammalian eye convert light stimuli into electrical signals and transmit them via downstream interneurons to the retinal ganglion cells which, in turn, forward them to the brain. The interneurons are connected to each other in such a way that the individual ganglion cells receive visual information from a circular area of the visual field known as the receptive field. Some ganglion cells are only activated, for example, when light falls on the center of their receptive fields and the edge remains dark (ON cells). (2011-03-09)

Smarter brains run on sparsely connected neurons
The more intelligent a person, the fewer connections there are between the neurons in his cerebral cortex. This is the result of a study conducted by neuroscientists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum; the study was performed using a specific neuroimaging technique that provides insights into the wiring of the brain on a microstructural level. Together with colleagues from Albuquerque and Berlin, the team from Bochum published their report in the journal Nature Communications on May 15, 2018. (2018-05-17)

Ultra-powerful batteries made safer, more efficient
An international team of researchers is laying the foundation for more widespread use of lithium metal batteries. They developed a method to mitigate the formation of dendrites -- crystal-like masses -- that damage the batteries' performance. (2018-04-09)

Neuronal regeneration and the 2-part design of nerves
Researchers at the University of Michigan have evidence that a single gene controls both halves of nerve cells, and their research demonstrates the need to consider that design in the development of new treatments for regeneration of nerve cells. (2013-06-04)

A NEAT reduction of complex neuronal models accelerates brain research
Unlike their simple counterparts in artificial intelligence (AI) applications, neurons in the brain use dendrites - their intricate tree-like branches - to find relevant chunks of information. Now, neuroscientists from the University of Bern have discovered a new computational method to make complex dendrite models much simpler. These faithful reductions may lead AI applications to process information much like the brain does. (2021-01-27)

UNC neuroscientists discover new 'mini-neural computer' in the brain
Dendrites, the branch-like projections of neurons, were once thought to be passive wiring in the brain. But now researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that these dendrites do more than relay information from one neuron to the next. They actively process information, multiplying the brain's computing power. (2013-10-27)

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience includes the following two articles: 1. Camphor's TRP; 2. CaMKII and Dendritic Filopodia in Drosophila. (2005-09-27)

How neurons get their branching shapes
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered a factor helps give different neurons their distinct shapes. Published in Nature Neuroscience, the work reveals how the protein centrosomin prevents dendrites from branching out. (2015-08-31)

Reelin-Nrp1 interaction regulates neocortical dendrite development
Reelin exhibits a context-dependent function during brain development; however, its underlying mechanism is not well understood. Here, we found that neuropilin-1 specifically binds to the C-terminal region of Reelin and acts as a co-receptor for canonical Reelin-receptor. The Reelin-Nrp1 interaction is essential for proper dendritic development in superficial-layer neurons. This study provides evidence of the context-specific function of Reelin regulated by the C-terminal residues. (2020-10-15)

A new view for protein turnover in the brain
Scientists at UC San Diego have provided the first evidence that lysosomes, specialized structures found in nearly every cell in your body, can travel to distant parts of neurons to branch-like areas known as dendrites. Lysosomes help keep balance in the brain by removing material that is no longer needed, a key function that could be associated with disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. (2017-08-07)

Fruit fly neuron can reprogram itself after injury
Studies with fruit flies have shown that the specialized nerve cells called neurons can rebuild themselves after injury. These results, potentially relevant to research efforts to improve the treatment of patients with traumatic nerve damage or neurodegenerative disease, will be presented at the American Society for Cell Biology 49th Annual Meeting, Dec. 5-9, 2009, in San Diego. (2009-12-06)

Electrical properties of dendrites help explain our brain's unique computing power
MIT neuroscientists have discovered that human dendrites have very different electrical properties from those of other species. These differences may contribute to the enhanced computing power of the human brain. (2018-10-18)

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