thenewenlightenmentage
thenewenlightenmentage:

First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man’s Skin
Eighteen years ago, scientists in Scotland took the nuclear DNA from the cell of an adult sheep and put it into another sheep’s egg cell that had been emptied of its own nucleus. The resulting egg was implanted in the womb of a third sheep, and the result was Dolly, the first clone of a mammal.
Dolly’s birth set off a huge outpouring of ethical concern — along with hope that the same techniques, applied to human cells, could be used to treat myriad diseases.
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thenewenlightenmentage:

First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man’s Skin

Eighteen years ago, scientists in Scotland took the nuclear DNA from the cell of an adult sheep and put it into another sheep’s egg cell that had been emptied of its own nucleus. The resulting egg was implanted in the womb of a third sheep, and the result was Dolly, the first clone of a mammal.

Dolly’s birth set off a huge outpouring of ethical concern — along with hope that the same techniques, applied to human cells, could be used to treat myriad diseases.

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neurosciencestuff
neurosciencestuff:

(Image caption: During the learning processes, extensions grow on neurons. Synapses are located at the end of these extensions (left: as seen in nature; right: reconstruction). When the synapse growth is based on the correlated development of all synaptic components, it can remain stable for long periods of time. Credit: © MPI of Neurobiology/ Meyer)
Synapses – stability in transformation
Nothing lasts forever. This principle also applies to the proteins that make up the points of contact between our neurons. It is due to these proteins that the information arriving at a synapse can be transmitted and then received by the next neuron. When we learn something, new synapses are created or existing ones are strengthened. To enable us to retain long-term memories, synapses must remain stable for long periods of time, up to an entire lifetime. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried near Munich have found an explanation as to how a synapse achieves remaining stable for a long time despite the fact that its proteins must be renewed regularly.
Learning in the laboratory
“We were interested first of all in what happens to the different components of a synapse when it grows during a learning process,” explains study leader Volker Scheuss. An understanding of how the components grow could also provide information about the long-term stability of synapses. Hence, the researchers studied the growth of synapses in tissue culture dishes following exposure to a (learning) stimulus. To do this, they deliberately activated individual synapses using the neurotransmitter glutamate: scientists have long known that glutamate plays an important role in learning processes and stimulates the growth of synapses. Over the following hours, the researchers observed the stimulated synapses and control synapses under a 2-photon microscope. To confirm the observed effects, they then examined individual synapses with the help of an electron microscope. “When you consider that individual synapses are only around one thousandth of a millimetre in size, this was quite a Sisyphean task,” says Tobias Bonhoeffer, the Director of the department where the research was carried out.
Synaptic stability – a concerted effort
The scientists discovered that during synapse growth the different protein structures always grew coordinated with each other. If one structural component was enlarged alone, or in a way that was not correctly correlated with the other components, its structural change would collapse soon after. Synapses with such incomplete changes cannot store any long-term memories.
The study findings show that the order and interaction between synaptic components is finely tuned and correlated. “In a system of this kind, it should be entirely possible to replace individual proteins while the rest of the structure maintains its integrity,” says Scheuss. However, if an entire group of components breaks away, the synapse is destabilised. This is also an important process given that the brain could not function correctly without the capacity to forget things. Hence, the study’s results provide not only important insight into the functioning and structure of synapses, they also establish a basis for a better understanding of memory loss, for example in the case of degenerative brain diseases.

neurosciencestuff:

(Image caption: During the learning processes, extensions grow on neurons. Synapses are located at the end of these extensions (left: as seen in nature; right: reconstruction). When the synapse growth is based on the correlated development of all synaptic components, it can remain stable for long periods of time. Credit: © MPI of Neurobiology/ Meyer)

Synapses – stability in transformation

Nothing lasts forever. This principle also applies to the proteins that make up the points of contact between our neurons. It is due to these proteins that the information arriving at a synapse can be transmitted and then received by the next neuron. When we learn something, new synapses are created or existing ones are strengthened. To enable us to retain long-term memories, synapses must remain stable for long periods of time, up to an entire lifetime. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried near Munich have found an explanation as to how a synapse achieves remaining stable for a long time despite the fact that its proteins must be renewed regularly.

Learning in the laboratory

“We were interested first of all in what happens to the different components of a synapse when it grows during a learning process,” explains study leader Volker Scheuss. An understanding of how the components grow could also provide information about the long-term stability of synapses. Hence, the researchers studied the growth of synapses in tissue culture dishes following exposure to a (learning) stimulus. To do this, they deliberately activated individual synapses using the neurotransmitter glutamate: scientists have long known that glutamate plays an important role in learning processes and stimulates the growth of synapses. Over the following hours, the researchers observed the stimulated synapses and control synapses under a 2-photon microscope. To confirm the observed effects, they then examined individual synapses with the help of an electron microscope. “When you consider that individual synapses are only around one thousandth of a millimetre in size, this was quite a Sisyphean task,” says Tobias Bonhoeffer, the Director of the department where the research was carried out.

Synaptic stability – a concerted effort

The scientists discovered that during synapse growth the different protein structures always grew coordinated with each other. If one structural component was enlarged alone, or in a way that was not correctly correlated with the other components, its structural change would collapse soon after. Synapses with such incomplete changes cannot store any long-term memories.

The study findings show that the order and interaction between synaptic components is finely tuned and correlated. “In a system of this kind, it should be entirely possible to replace individual proteins while the rest of the structure maintains its integrity,” says Scheuss. However, if an entire group of components breaks away, the synapse is destabilised. This is also an important process given that the brain could not function correctly without the capacity to forget things. Hence, the study’s results provide not only important insight into the functioning and structure of synapses, they also establish a basis for a better understanding of memory loss, for example in the case of degenerative brain diseases.

thenewenlightenmentage
thenewenlightenmentage:

How CERN’s discovery of exotic particles may affect astrophysic
You may have heard that CERN announced the discovery of a strange particle known as Z(4430). A paper summarizing the results has been published on the physics arxiv, which is a repository for preprint (not yet peer reviewed) physics papers. The new particle is about 4 times more massive than a proton, has a negative charge, and appears to be a theoretical particle known as a tetraquark. The results are still young, but if this discovery holds up it could have implications for our understanding of neutron stars.
The building blocks of matter are made of leptons (such as the electron and neutrinos) and quarks (which make up protons, neutrons, and other particles). Quarks are very different from other particles in that they have an electric charge that is 1/3 or 2/3 that of the electron and proton. They also possess a different kind of “charge” known as color. Just as electric charges interact through an electromagnetic force, color charges interact through the strong nuclear force. It is the color charge of quarks that works to hold the nuclei of atoms together. Color charge is much more complex than electric charge. With electric charge there is simply positive (+) and its opposite, negative (-). With color, there are three types (red, green, and blue) and their opposites (anti-red, anti-green, and anti-blue).
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thenewenlightenmentage:

How CERN’s discovery of exotic particles may affect astrophysic

You may have heard that CERN announced the discovery of a strange particle known as Z(4430). A paper summarizing the results has been published on the physics arxiv, which is a repository for preprint (not yet peer reviewed) physics papers. The new particle is about 4 times more massive than a proton, has a negative charge, and appears to be a theoretical particle known as a tetraquark. The results are still young, but if this discovery holds up it could have implications for our understanding of neutron stars.

The building blocks of matter are made of leptons (such as the electron and neutrinos) and quarks (which make up protons, neutrons, and other particles). Quarks are very different from other particles in that they have an electric charge that is 1/3 or 2/3 that of the electron and proton. They also possess a different kind of “charge” known as color. Just as electric charges interact through an electromagnetic force, color charges interact through the strong nuclear force. It is the color charge of quarks that works to hold the nuclei of atoms together. Color charge is much more complex than electric charge. With  there is simply positive (+) and its opposite, negative (-). With color, there are three types (red, green, and blue) and their opposites (anti-red, anti-green, and anti-blue).

Continue Reading

neurosciencestuff

neurosciencestuff:

Research linked to stress in mice confirms blood-brain comparison is valid

image

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone — and showing signs of anxiety — are directly related to…

thenewenlightenmentage

astronomicalwonders:

The Great Andromeda Galaxy, M31

The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy and it the closest large galaxy to the milky way (this is not including dwarf galaxies). It is approximately 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda and is listed as the 31st object in Messier’s catalog of large night-sky objects.

Andromeda is one of the easiest objects to spot in the night sky. It can be seen on a clear night with the unaided eye as a faint smudge of light about 3 times the apparent length of the moon. This makes the Galaxy a great viewing/imaging target if you have a pair of binoculars or a telescope.

Like our milky way galaxy, the Andromeda galaxy has smaller satellite galaxy, known as dwarf galaxies, that orbit it. One of these dwarf galaxies can be seen in the above images as a small smudge below Andromeda’s galactic disk.

The top image shows a wide field view of the Andromeda Galaxy. The next two images show wide field views of the galaxy in infrared and ultraviolet light and the last two are infrared and ultraviolet images taken recently by the Spitzer space telescope.

Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble/Wikipedia