HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Salk researchers make fast strides towards understanding how our body controls walking

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified an important circuit in the spinal cord that controls the speed with which our leg muscles contract and relax. Their findings mark an important milestone in understanding the neural circuitry that coordinates walking movements - one of the main obstacles in developing new treatments for spinal cord injuries.

"Knowing which circuits are important and understanding how they control the essential aspects of walking should put us in a better position to design treatments or implants that restore or activate these pathways," said Martyn D. Goulding, Ph.D., a professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory.

The Salk research team led by Goulding published their findings in the March 9, 2006 issue of the journal Nature. Joint lead authors were Simon Gosgnach, Ph.D. and Guillermo M. Lanuza, Ph.D. in Goulding's laboratory.

Whether fish or fowl, the muscle contractions that allow us to move generally have certain rhythmic properties. It has been known for some time that a central pattern generator (CPG) specialized groups of neurons in the spinal cord functions as the control and command center for these rhythmic movements. As such, the CPG lies at the heart of all locomotion. Remarkably, this circuitry functions without any input from the brain, which explains why headless chickens run away from the butcher's block.

"Although people have known about the CPG for a long time, they haven't been able to identify the nerve cells that are part of these circuits. Even at closer inspection, the spinal cord is just a jumbled mass of hundreds of thousands of neurons that all look the same," said Gosgnach.

The Salk team used genetic approaches to identify a subset of neurons, named V1 neurons, as being part of the CPG, and gene targeting methods to selectively disable them in order to observe what happens. "It allowed us to peer into this black box that is the centr
'"/>

Contact: Gina Kirchweger
kirchweger@salk.edu
858-453-4100 x1365
Salk Institute
8-Mar-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Innovative tagging technique may help researchers better protect fish stocks
2. Penn researchers discover how key protein stops inflammation
3. ASU researchers partner with UOP to make biofuel for military jets a reality
4. Einstein researchers prototype vaccine could provide improved protection against tuberculosis
5. Penn researchers discover pathway that eliminates genetic defects in red blood cells
6. U-M researchers find family of on switches that cause prostate cancer
7. 2007 EURYI: 20 young researchers to receive Nobel Prize-sized awards for breakthrough ideas
8. Pets could be source of multiresistant bacteria infections in humans, MU researchers investigate
9. MGH researchers confirm that bone marrow restores fertility in female mice
10. Smithsonians National Zoo researchers use electronic eggs to help save threatened species
11. U-M researchers identify gene involved in breast cancer

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


(Date:9/25/2019)... ... September 25, 2019 , ... LeadingBiotech , ... dialogue, today announces its inaugural South CEO conference to be held ... , Co-produced by Tulane University, this invitation-only meeting convenes biopharma executives to discuss ...
(Date:9/24/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... September 24, 2019 , ... ... its technology driven portfolio of 3D porous titanium spinal implants with the expansion ... Ti3D implant offerings while more than tripling the number of cervical and lumbar ...
(Date:9/22/2019)... ... September 20, 2019 , ... ... are adjusting to client demands for precision medicine products. The report, Lab ... $19 billion in 2018, the pharma/bio sector is the largest source of demand ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/8/2019)... , ... October 08, 2019 , ... ... (TMP), Madhumita Suresh and Leslie Maurer presented company executives with a set of ... Science (MBS) graduates will offer insights from their TMP to a wider audience ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 01, 2019 , ... ... and reset itself, announced the midway point of its randomized research trial for ... study is to measure the efficacy of a non-invasive technology which compares tones ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 02, 2019 , ... ... business opportunity to investors and venture capital companies in Silicon Valley at a special ... 8:30 pm. The event will be held at the JJ Lake Business Center located ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 03, 2019 , ... Yesterday, at the 2019 meeting of ... and director, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., discussed important design factors that currently limit ... including both developers and suppliers of clinical trials, in his talk Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: