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A collection of images from previous neuroscience articles, including those of an octopus in a chamber, artistic renditions of a brain, brain scans, and an image of neural connections in vitro.
Our Favorite Neuroscience Stories of 2022
This year, neuroscience researchers made important discoveries related to how neurodegeneration attacks the human brain, hooked cultured neurons up to machinery to teach them to play a video game, and more.
Our Favorite Neuroscience Stories of 2022
Our Favorite Neuroscience Stories of 2022

This year, neuroscience researchers made important discoveries related to how neurodegeneration attacks the human brain, hooked cultured neurons up to machinery to teach them to play a video game, and more.

This year, neuroscience researchers made important discoveries related to how neurodegeneration attacks the human brain, hooked cultured neurons up to machinery to teach them to play a video game, and more.

mice
Artist’s rendition of the molecular structure of a ribosome (blue and purple) as it produces a polypeptide chain (red) from an mRNA template (orange and gray), with tRNA molecules (dark purple) shuttling amino acids.
Specialized Sperm Ribosomes Are Key to Male Fertility in Mice
Dan Robitzski | Dec 15, 2022 | 4 min read
A previously unknown kind of ribosome is responsible for folding sperm proteins, which decay before fertilization if prepared by other ribosomes.
Human hand with white glove holding a white mouse in a green background.
Study Traces a Neural Circuit Behind Green Light–Mediated Pain Relief
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Dec 9, 2022 | 4 min read
A mouse study concludes color-detecting cones in the eye and a subset of neurons in the brain’s thalamus are why green light exposure has an analgesic effect.
A nude (hairless) mouse, typically used in biomedical and drug discovery research methods that rely on immunodeficient mouse strains.
Brush Up: Humanized Mice: More than the Sum of Their Parts
Deanna MacNeil, PhD | 5 min read
Scientists study human health in vivo with modified mice that molecularly mimic human biology.
Illustration of green fluorescent bacterial cells.
Cocaine Use Creates Feedback Loop with Gut Bacteria: Mouse Study
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Nov 1, 2022 | 3 min read
A jolt of norepinephrine in the mouse gut facilitates colonization by certain microbes, which in turn deplete glycine, enhancing cocaine-induced behaviors.
Orange colony of bacteria on red medium
Skin Bacteria May Trigger Lupus: Mouse Study
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Oct 28, 2022 | 3 min read
Staphylococcus aureus appears to be the culprit.
Three white mice
High-Fat Diet in Mice Affects Social Behavior Across Generations
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Oct 27, 2022 | 4 min read
Pups born to mice whose mothers had been fed a high-fat diet showed social deficits, a study shows. 
illustration of neurons in blue and microglia in orange
Ancient Viral DNA Helps Mouse Brains Fight Infection
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Oct 24, 2022 | 3 min read
Mammals that give birth to live young may have evolved to make use of the remnants of viruses in their genomes to ward off pathogens, a study suggests. 
Purple and white fluorescent stain of cells
How Fat Cells Help Kick Parasites Out of Mice: Study
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Oct 14, 2022 | 3 min read
Immune cells get a lot of shine when it comes to fighting infection, but it turns out that fat might be just as important for removing parasitic invaders.
White mice in a clear plastic cage
Different Genes Influence Lifespan in Male and Female Mice
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Sep 29, 2022 | 3 min read
Researchers say there may be similar, human genes whose effects on lifespan vary by sex.
white mouse sitting down
Drug Spurs Neuron Growth in Mice with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Sep 27, 2022 | 4 min read
A protein duo increases transcription of growth-related genes to enhance axon regeneration and boost plasticity, a study finds—but fails to improve mobility.
Adipose tissue under the microscope appearing as red blobs on a white background
Mouse Brains Appear to Eavesdrop on Their Fat
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Sep 9, 2022 | 4 min read
For the first time, a team visualizes sensory nerves projecting into adipose tissue in mice and finds these neuronal cells may counteract the local effects of the sympathetic nervous system.
blue-gloved hands injecting mouse with syringe
Sex of Researcher Influences Ketamine’s Effects in Mice: Study
Shawna Williams | Sep 8, 2022 | 3 min read
The findings likely have implications for animal research far beyond the study of antidepressants.
Fluorescent microscopy of a healthy intestinal organoid and a tumor spheroid
Internal Clock Disruptions Increase Colon Cancer Risk in Mice
Shafaq Zia | Aug 19, 2022 | 3 min read
Disturbing circadian rhythms in organoids and mice increases intestinal tumor growth, findings that may explain a recent rise in colon cancer among young adults, the researchers behind the work say.
Illustration of bacteriophages infecting a bacterium
Phages Treat Gut Inflammation in Mice
Andy Carstens | Aug 4, 2022 | 5 min read
Mixtures of viruses that attack inflammatory bowel disease–causing bacteria in mice also survive the digestive tract and are well-tolerated in humans, a study finds.
multiple generations of family members eating at outdoor table
Sun Exposure Triggers Hunger in Men but Not Women, Study Suggests
Shafaq Zia | Jul 12, 2022 | 4 min read
Ultraviolet radiation leads to secretion of an appetite-boosting hormone in male mice, but experts say it’s not yet clear whether the mechanism applies to humans.
GFP highlighting mouse neurons
Science Snapshot: How Brains Handle Surprise Parties
Lisa Winter | Jun 3, 2022 | 1 min read
When unexpected events occur, norepinephrine signals mouse brains to pay attention to key details.
An illustration showing a scale weighing two double-stranded pieces of DNA that has a big question mark in the center.
Mouse Foraging Behavior Shaped by Opposite-Sex Parent’s Genes
Dan Robitzski | Apr 12, 2022 | 7 min read
A study in mice finds that for certain genes, one parent’s allele can dominate expression and shape behavior—and which parent’s allele does so varies throughout the body.
Pink rat pups piled on top of each other.
Rat Sperm Generated from Stem Cells
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Apr 7, 2022 | 4 min read
Researchers report they were able to make functional sperm in a dish, a feat previously only possible for mice.
Image of brain cells showing pyramidal neurons in green, astrocytes in red, and microglia in blue
Replacing Microglia Treats Neurodegenerative Disease in Mice
Shawna Williams | Mar 17, 2022 | 2 min read
Researchers find a way to wipe out the brain’s immune cell corps and send in new and improved versions.
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