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Blue glowing neuronal projections
Silent Synapses May Provide Plasticity in Adulthood
Inactive synapses—found on tiny neuronal projections called filopodia—are abundant in the adult brain, a mouse study suggests.
Silent Synapses May Provide Plasticity in Adulthood
Silent Synapses May Provide Plasticity in Adulthood

Inactive synapses—found on tiny neuronal projections called filopodia—are abundant in the adult brain, a mouse study suggests.

Inactive synapses—found on tiny neuronal projections called filopodia—are abundant in the adult brain, a mouse study suggests.

synapse
Photo of Chantell Evans
Chantell Evans Tracks Mitochondrial Cleanup in Neurons
Holly Barker | Dec 1, 2022 | 3 min read
The Duke University cell biologist uses live-cell microscopy to reveal how brain cells rid themselves of damaged mitochondria and what goes wrong in neurodegenerative disease.
Neurons in all sorts of different colors, some glowing
How Fear Restructures the Mouse Brain
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Aug 15, 2022 | 4 min read
By combining deep learning and electron microscopy, researchers now have a more detailed understanding of how fear changes the brain.
black-and-white brain scan showing tumor
Glioblastoma Cells Imitate Immature Neurons to Invade the Brain
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Aug 5, 2022 | 3 min read
Neuron-like glioblastoma cells are the pioneers of deadly tumors’ spread through the brain, contributing to their devastating invasiveness, a study in mice finds.
panel depicting mossy fiber synapses and glutamate signaling dynamics
Infographic: Reverse Signaling Between Neurons
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Jun 4, 2021 | 1 min read
So-called mossy fiber synapses in the hippocampus can meter the amount of neurotransmitter they receive by sending glutamate against the usual direction of synaptic flow.
artistic representation of a neuron synapse with light and dark dots passing between two axons
Hippocampal Cell Communication Is Bidirectional: Study
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Jun 4, 2021 | 6 min read
In an unexpected twist in neuroscience dogma, the cells on the receiving end of neurotransmission appear to be able to release glutamate to regulate the transmitting cell’s activity.
Hippocampal neurons are labeled in blue and purple on a black background
New Role for Leptin: Promoting Synapse Formation in Rat Neurons
Abby Olena, PhD | May 20, 2021 | 3 min read
The hormone, which is well known for regulating appetite, appears to influence neuronal development—a finding that could shed light on disorders such as autism that involve dysfunctional synapse formation.
Can Single Cells Learn?
Catherine Offord | May 1, 2021 | 10+ min read
A controversial idea from the mid-20th century is attracting renewed attention from researchers developing theories for how cognition arises with or without a brain.
Flexible Synapse Strength May Underpin Mammal Brain’s Complexity
Asher Jones | Mar 24, 2021 | 3 min read
Neural connections in the mouse neocortex can release multiple packages of neurotransmitters per electrical impulse, a study finds.
Infographic: A New Model of Synapse Strength
Asher Jones | Mar 24, 2021 | 1 min read
Synapses in the mouse neocortex can release multiple packages of neurotransmitters, suggesting that connection strength is more flexible than previously thought.
How Immune Cells Make the Brain Forget
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2020 | 4 min read
Microglia ingest nerve cell connections, leading to the loss of information stored in neuronal circuits.
Aggressive Cancers Feed Off the Brain’s Nerves
Emily Makowski | Sep 20, 2019 | 2 min read
Three studies show that tumor cells can behave like neurons.
New Technique Captures Entire Fly Brain in 3D
Carolyn Wilke | Jan 18, 2019 | 2 min read
The method combines two approaches to reveal a high-resolution map of all 40 million synapses.
Microglia Cause Cognitive Decline in Obese Mice
Diana Kwon | Sep 10, 2018 | 3 min read
The brain’s immune cells gobble up synapses in the hippocampi of rodents fed high-fat or high-sugar diets.
Artificial Nerve Senses Pressure, Moves Cockroach Leg
Shawna Williams | May 31, 2018 | 4 min read
The device could one day help enable prosthetics deliver richer touch information to users.
RNA Moves a Memory From One Snail to Another
Ashley Yeager | May 14, 2018 | 4 min read
Injecting molecules from a sea slug that received tail shocks into one that didn’t made the recipient animal behave more cautiously. 
Certain Glial Cells Appear to Help Prevent Muscle Fatigue
Ashley Yeager | May 1, 2018 | 3 min read
The flow of calcium and potassium ions keeps muscles contracting in the diaphragms of neonatal mice, but if a key protein receptor is missing, fatigue sets in more quickly.
Infographic: Getting Synapses Ready to Fire
Ashley Yeager | Apr 30, 2018 | 1 min read
A new study reveals more about the role of specialized Schwann cells at junctions between neurons and muscle cells.
Neurons Use Virus-Like Proteins to Transmit Information
Diana Kwon | Jan 15, 2018 | 2 min read
In mice and flies, the Arc protein forms capsids and carries genetic information.
First In Vivo Function Found for Animal Circular RNA
Catherine Offord | Aug 10, 2017 | 4 min read
Mice lacking the RNA had deregulated microRNAs in the brain, disrupted synaptic communication, and behavioral abnormalities associated with neuropsychiatric disorders.
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