Our first steps? Fossil may boost case for earliest ancestor

Twenty years ago, scientists discovered a 7-million-year-old skull that they concluded belonged to a creature who walked upright and was our earliest known ancestor. Not everyone was convinced. Now, the researchers are back ...

Study finds new links between dogs' smell and vision

Cornell University researchers have provided the first documentation that dogs' sense of smell is integrated with their vision and other unique parts of the brain, shedding new light on how dogs experience and navigate the ...

Precursor of spine and brain forms passively

Researchers at ETH Zurich have conducted a detailed study of neurulation—how the neural tube forms during embryonic development. They conclude that this happens less actively than previously thought. This also has implications ...

Unraveling the origins of the human spine

The spinal column is the central supporting structure of the skeleton in all vertebrates. Not only does it provide a place for muscles to attach, it also protects the spinal cord and nerve roots. Defects in its development ...

Research in mice identifies neurons that control locomotion

For more than a century, scientists have known that while the commands that initiate movement come from the brain, the neurons that control locomotion once movement is underway reside within the spinal cord. In a study published ...

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Spinal cord

The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue and support cells that extends from the brain. The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system. Enclosed within, and protected by, the bony vertebral column, the spinal cord functions primarily in the transmission of neural signals between the brain and the rest of the body, but also contains neural circuits that can independently control numerous reflexes and central pattern generators.

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