HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientists pinpoint molecules that generate synapses

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 23, 2004 - Researchers have found a family of molecules that play a key role in the formation of synapses, the junctions that link brain cells, called neurons, to each other. The molecules initiate the development of these connections, forming the circuitry of the mammalian nervous system.

Scientists from Harvard University and Washington University in St. Louis describe the findings in the July 23 issue of the journal Cell.

"This is very basic work, far from any clinical applications at this point," says author Joshua R. Sanes, professor of molecular and cellular biology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "Still, one can think of lots of cases, from normal aging to mental retardation to neurodegenerative disease, where making more synapses or preventing synapse loss might be beneficial. This finding may eventually point the way to new therapies."

The work, using mice as a model, was conducted while Sanes and co-author Hisashi Umemori were at Washington University.

Synapses are the sites where neurons communicate with each other to form the large and complex information-processing networks of the brain. These networks are highly modifiable because the synapses between neurons are plastic, leading to changes that underlie learning. Synapses are also the targets of nearly all psychoactive drugs, including both prescription medications and illicit drugs.

"We knew that the apparatus for sending and receiving chemical and electrical signals was concentrated at the synapses where neurons connect with each other," Sanes says. "We wanted to determine how these special sites form."

As the early nervous system develops into a dense tangle of neurons, synapses sprout at places where neurons grow close to one another. In order for a synapse to actually form, Sanes and Umemori believed, certain key molecules would have to flow across the gap between two neurons to commence development of a synapse lin
'"/>

Contact: Steve Bradt
steve_bradt@harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University
23-Jul-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/7/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2020 , ... ... regulatory consulting firm for the natural health product, nutraceutical and dietary supplement industries, ... long been a leader in regulatory expertise and research pertaining to probiotics. We ...
(Date:2/1/2020)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia (PRWEB) , ... February 01, 2020 , ... ... people around the world and about 700,000 die from the disease. HCC is the ... occupies the first place among all countries when it comes to incidence of HCC, ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... organization dedicated to solving complex problems for life sciences companies and government agencies, ... the largest life sciences hubs in the country. Tunnell’s Cambridge office will be ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2020)... ... February 03, 2020 , ... ... Services Firm Travel, Law Firm Travel, Technology Industry Travel and Biotech/Healthcare Industry Travel ... quarterly. Each Index illustrates the following statistics:, Average ...
(Date:1/28/2020)... COLLEGE, Pa. (PRWEB) , ... January 28, 2020 ... ... line of Better Salivary Assay Kits . The new Salivary Total ... bioscience research. “By measuring total immunoglobulin G in saliva, researchers can extend the ...
(Date:1/24/2020)... Va. (PRWEB) , ... January 24, 2020 , ... ... other innovations created by companies in biotechnology, diagnostics, therapeutics, laboratory and clinical services ... of millions of people around the world. And as Slone Partners ...
(Date:1/22/2020)... , ... January 21, 2020 , ... ... of Darrell Taylor as Southern Midwest Region Industrial and Institutional (I&I) Account Manager. ... product line. , Darrell brings over 30 years of sales experience ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: