Snake uses tentacles to 'see' in the dark

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study of a snake with tentacles on its snout has found it has a unique system for sensing prey: its tentacles allow it to "see" in murky water.

Coral snake venom reveals a unique route to lethality

For more than a decade, a vial of rare snake venom refused to give up its secret formula for lethality; its toxins had no effect on the proteins that most venoms target. Finally, an international team of researchers figured ...

Scientists reveal how snakes 'see' at night

Scientists revealed Sunday for the first time how some snakes can detect the faint body heat exuded by a mouse a metre (three feet) away with enough precision and speed to hunt in the dark.

Worm uploaded to a computer and trained to balance a pole

Is it a computer program or a living being? At TU Wien (Vienna), the boundaries have become blurred. The neural system of a nematode was translated into computer code – and then the virtual worm was taught amazing tricks.

Graphene shown to safely interact with neurons in the brain

Researchers have successfully demonstrated how it is possible to interface graphene - a two-dimensional form of carbon - with neurons, or nerve cells, while maintaining the integrity of these vital cells. The work may be ...

Scientists solve mystery of the eye

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have a good overall understanding of human vision: when light enters our eyes, it is focused by the lens and strikes the retina in the back of the eye. The light causes some of the millions of ...

Why fruit flies are a good genetic model for human disease study

If you have a Facebook account, you are likely to have seen someone pour an ice bucket on themselves in the name of raising awareness for amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a disease that affects nerve cells in the ...

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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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