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image: Insulin's Role in Body and Brain

Insulin's Role in Body and Brain

By , , and | December 6, 2012

Insulin, long recognized as a primary regulator of blood glucose, is now also understood to play key roles in neuroplasticity, neuromodulation, and neurotrophism.

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image: Ubiquitin Chains in Action

Ubiquitin Chains in Action

By | July 1, 2012

Present in every tissue of the body, ubiquitin appears to be involved in a dizzying array of functions, from cell cycle and division to organelle and ribosome biogenesis, as well as the response to viral infection. The protein plays at least two role

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image: Inflammation, Pain, and Resolvins

Inflammation, Pain, and Resolvins

By | January 1, 2012

Not all inflammation leads to pain. Despite widespread infection followed by fever, colds rarely cause pain. But when some cytokines and certain immune cells are active near pain-sensing nerves, they trigger receptors that convey pain sensations to the brain.

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image: Lost in Space

Lost in Space

By | September 1, 2011

Looking for a more realistic way to study memory, we turned to place cells­­—­a network of cells that record a rat’s memory of an environment. 

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image: Molecular Learning

Molecular Learning

By | September 1, 2011

Long-term potentiation (LTP), discovered in the 1970s, was later shown to be the molecular basis of memory. 

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image: The Seat of Memory

The Seat of Memory

By | September 1, 2011

Early on, researchers had learned that the hippocampus was the structure in the brain where long-term memories were created and stored, but it was not known whether the different cell types within this structure might be more or less susceptible to the aging process.

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image: The Cytokine Cycle

The Cytokine Cycle

By | September 1, 2011

The initiating cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown. However, from our studies it’s clear that many types of neuronal damage—­­from traumatic brain injury, to epilepsy, infection, or genetic predisposition—­can activate brain immune cells—microglia and astrocytes-- promoting them to produce IL-1 and S100 inflammatory cytokines.

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image: Helpful Bacterial Metabolites

Helpful Bacterial Metabolites

By | August 1, 2011

While gut microbiota appear to have both positive and negative impacts on our  health, in the guts of healthy, lean individuals, the good outweighs the bad.  

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image: Harmful Bacterial Metabolites

Harmful Bacterial Metabolites

By | August 1, 2011

Gut bacteria that feed on healthy food appear to amplify the nutritional benefits of those foods. However, they also appear to amplify the undesirable effects of unhealthy food. 

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image: OPSINS: Tools of the trade

OPSINS: Tools of the trade

By | July 1, 2011

The optogenetic toolset is composed of genetically encoded molecules that, when targeted to specific neurons in the brain, enable the electrical activity of those neurons to be driven or silenced by light. 

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