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» neurodegeneration, physiology and immunology

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image: How Drugs Interact with a Baby’s Parts

How Drugs Interact with a Baby’s Parts

By | March 1, 2012

A lot changes in a child’s body over the course of development, and not all changes occur linearly: gene expression can fluctuate, and organs can perform different functions on the way to their final purpose in the body. Here are some of the key deve

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image: Calcium and the Pancreas

Calcium and the Pancreas

By | February 1, 2012

Normal pancreatic function depends on the precise flow of calcium within and into the acinar cells of the organ. 

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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: The Anatomy of a High

The Anatomy of a High

By | June 3, 2011

When someone snorts or smokes cocaine, which is composed of small crystalline alkaloid molecules, the drug enters the bloodstream and from there eventually crosses into the heart, brain, and other organs. 

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image: Part Human, Part HIV

Part Human, Part HIV

By | June 3, 2011

Like other enveloped viruses, HIV exits its host cell enshrouded in the cell’s membrane, which contains membrane molecules such as the human leukocyte antigens (HLA). 

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image: Where Cancer and Inflammation Intersect

Where Cancer and Inflammation Intersect

By | April 1, 2011

Recent clinical trials have reignited the interest in simple anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin for controlling the inflammation associated with cancer. 

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