Genetics

The line of succession in neuron function

A specific region of messenger RNAs, the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR), plays an important role for cells to function properly. During embryonic development, 3'UTRs in hundreds of RNAs lengthen exclusively in neurons, which ...

Neuroscience

Testing the fluorescent proteins that light up the brain

Neurons are cells in your brain. Shaped like little stars, they flicker and fire off signals to each other. The signals travel up and down the long tendrils, called dendrites, extending out from each point of a neuron's star-shaped ...

Neuroscience

What lies between grey and white in the brain

Traditionally, neuroscience regards the brain as being made up of two basic tissue types. Billions of neurons make up the gray matter, forming a thin layer on the brain's surface. These neuronal cells are interlinked in a ...

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Neuron

A neuron (pronounced /ˈnjʊərɒn/ N(Y)OOR-on, also known as a neurone or nerve cell) is an excitable cell in the nervous system that processes and transmits information by electrochemical signalling. Neurons are the core components of the brain, the vertebrate spinal cord, the invertebrate ventral nerve cord, and the peripheral nerves. A number of specialized types of neurons exist: sensory neurons respond to touch, sound, light and numerous other stimuli affecting cells of the sensory organs that then send signals to the spinal cord and brain. Motor neurons receive signals from the brain and spinal cord and cause muscle contractions and affect glands. Interneurons connect neurons to other neurons within the same region of the brain or spinal cord. Neurons respond to stimuli, and communicate the presence of stimuli to the central nervous system, which processes that information and sends responses to other parts of the body for action. Neurons do not go through mitosis, and usually cannot be replaced after being destroyed, although astrocytes have been observed to turn into neurons as they are sometimes pluripotent.

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