Can space help us understand our cells?

Do astronauts' brains get bigger in space? The answer may be found in 10 small containers of human brain cells on board a SpaceX spacecraft that is scheduled for blast off Dec. 5 for a 16-month voyage to the International ...

Team 'spikes' stem cells to generate myelin

Stem cell technology has long offered the hope of regenerating tissue to repair broken or damaged neural tissue. Findings from a team of UC Davis investigators have brought this dream a step closer by developing a method ...

Stem cells + nanofibers = Promising nerve research

Every week in his clinic at the University of Michigan, neurologist Joseph Corey, M.D., Ph.D., treats patients whose nerves are dying or shrinking due to disease or injury.

MS research: Myelin influences how brain cells send signals

The development of a new cell-culture system that mimics how specific nerve cell fibers in the brain become coated with protective myelin opens up new avenues of research about multiple sclerosis. Initial findings suggest ...

Neural stem cell differentiation factor discovered

Neural stem cells represent the cellular backup of our brain. These cells are capable of self-renewal to form new stem cells or differentiate into neurons, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes. Astrocytes have supportive functions ...

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Oligodendrocyte

Oligodendrocytes (from Greek, meaning cells with a few branches), or oligodendroglia (Greek, few tree glue), are a type of brain cell. They are a variety of neuroglia. Their main function is the insulation of axons (the long projection of nerve cells) in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) of some vertebrates. (The same function is performed by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system). A single oligodendrocyte can extend its processes to 50 axons, wrapping around approximately 1 μm of myelin sheath around each axon; Schwann cells, on the other hand, can wrap around only 1 axon.

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