Why developing nerve cells can take a wrong turn

A group of scientists from CECAD has found a mechanism by which neurodevelopmental diseases concerning neurons can be explained. The loss of a certain enzyme, UBE2K, impedes the differentiation of stem cells by silencing ...

Lighting the path for cells

ETH researchers have developed a new method in which they use light to draw patterns of molecules that guide living cells. The approach allows for a closer look at the development of multicellular organisms—and in the future ...

Lipid metabolism controls brain development

Neural stem cells are not only responsible for early brain development—they remain active for an entire lifetime. They divide and continually generate new nerve cells and enable the brain to constantly adapt to new demands. ...

Biologists investigate the role of the largest animal brain cells

The brains of most fish and amphibian species contain two types of conspicuously large nerve cells. These are the largest cells found in any animal brain. They are called Mauthner cells and trigger lightning-fast escape responses ...

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Neuron

A neuron (pronounced /ˈnjʊərɒn/ N(Y)OOR-on, also known as a neurone or nerve cell) is an excitable cell in the nervous system that processes and transmits information by electrochemical signalling. Neurons are the core components of the brain, the vertebrate spinal cord, the invertebrate ventral nerve cord, and the peripheral nerves. A number of specialized types of neurons exist: sensory neurons respond to touch, sound, light and numerous other stimuli affecting cells of the sensory organs that then send signals to the spinal cord and brain. Motor neurons receive signals from the brain and spinal cord and cause muscle contractions and affect glands. Interneurons connect neurons to other neurons within the same region of the brain or spinal cord. Neurons respond to stimuli, and communicate the presence of stimuli to the central nervous system, which processes that information and sends responses to other parts of the body for action. Neurons do not go through mitosis, and usually cannot be replaced after being destroyed, although astrocytes have been observed to turn into neurons as they are sometimes pluripotent.

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