We're a little crazy, about science!

Archive for July 18, 2014

Unraveling the Connections of the Brain

brain hat

Yes it’s a brain hat, and yes I do want one!!

The brain is complex, heck if it wasn’t then we wouldn’t be smart enough to figure out how it works. I guess it’s one of those stupid catch-22 type things. Still, little is known about how the brain forms connections and the process that is behind all that. Thankfully new research provides an important glimpse into the processes that establish connections between nerve cells in the brain. These connections [also known as synapses] allow nerve cells to transmit and process information involved in thinking and moving the body. Sounds simple enough, but the formation is quite complex.


The Brain, Down Syndrome, and Antibiotics

At first glance the title might sound a little weird. But if that is the case then you probably want to read this. Researchers  have identified a group of cells in the brain that they say plays an important role in the abnormal neuron development in Down syndrome. After developing a new model for studying the syndrome using patient-derived stem cells [over other models]. As the title alluded to, the scientists also found that applying an inexpensive antibiotic to the cells appears to correct many abnormalities in the interaction between the cells and developing neurons.