Author Archives: José Ramón Alonso

José Ramón Alonso
José R. Alonso has a PhD in Neurobiology and is professor of Cell Biology at the University of Salamanca. He has been researcher and visiting professor at the University of Frankfurt/Main and the University of Kiel, in Germany, and the University of California, Davis and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in the United States. He has authored more than 145 articles in peer-reviewed journals and written 20 books including university textbooks and popular science for both adults and children.

Flavor is a brain construction: we have olfactory and taste receptors and our central nervous system combines both types of information in what we call flavor. Malaria is an infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans […]

Group activities like dancing, laughing, and singing, release endorphins in the brain. These endogenous opioid neuropeptides produce a feel-good sensation, increase pain tolerance acting as analgesics, and presumably help to form stronger bonds between members of the group. One […]

Autism spectrum disorders are a group of developmental disorders that cause lifelong disabilities. They affect people’s ability to communicate, to interact with others and to understand social cues. Affected persons have difficulties recognizing body language, making eye contact, and […]

Cataglyphis, the desert ant, is a genus in the subamily Formicinae. The most famous species is C. bicolor, the Sahara Desert ant. There, the midday sun is so hot that even the permanent residents, sand lizards, insects and a few […]

Whiskers or vibrissae are a type of mammalian hair characterized, anatomically, by their larger, thicker and stiffer morphology, large and well-innervated hair follicle and by having a definite projection in the somatosensory cortex of the brain, forming the so-called […]

Cuscuta (dodder) is a genus of about 200 species of obligate parasitic plants. They use airborne volatile organic compound cues to locate their host plants and then, they produce feeding structures named haustoria that penetrate into the vascular system of […]

Rabies is a fatal viral disease largely transmitted to humans by infected animals—predominantly from domestic dogs. The contagion is usually through the saliva from rabid animals. The disease is entirely preventable through prompt administration of post-exposure prophylaxis to bite […]

The human microbiota is the community of microorganisms that resides in our body. They are found in a number of organs and biofluids, including the skin, mammary glands, placenta, seminal fluid, uterus, ovarian follicles, lung, saliva, oral mucosa, and […]

«Mosquito» is one of the few words, together with «guerrilla», «adobe», «cigarrillo» and some others that Spanish culture has brought to other languages. I am not sure whether we should be proud of this legacy. The «little fly» is […]

Autism is a highly prevalent spectrum disorder of the neurodevelopment. It is characterized by impaired social interaction, alterations in verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviors. Considering these main differences, it had been difficult to have good […]