Author Archives: José Ramón Alonso

<span property="name">José Ramón Alonso</span>
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.

The blood-brain barrier is one of the defenses of the central nervous system. It is made of a thin layer of endothelial cells closely fitted together by tight junctions, being a mandatory pass between the blood and the neural cells. […]

Suicide is one of the worst health and social problems in the modern world. Hundreds of millions of persons experience suicidal thoughts every year and between 10 and 20 millions went on to attempt suicide. In Spain, although the average […]

Chimera was a monster from the Greek mythology, a hybrid creature usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back and a tail ending in a snake. In biology, the term «chimera» is used […]

In multicellular organisms, embryonic stem cells develop into any of the different cell types that will form the adult, and along the development, they silence or activate different parts of the genome, giving rise to distinct cell identities, which are […]

Behavioral lateralization is a significant field of study because it may provide insights into the initial origins of lateralization. Different and very diverse organisms show lateralization. The best known is handedness, a better (faster or more precise) performance or individual […]

Complex systems in biology have several levels of organization, establishing a hierarchy of systems and subsystems. An ant colony is a wonderful example with the highest level being the colony itself, formed by hundreds or thousands of insects, each individual […]

Animals drift when they enter a fluid (liquid or gas) and are transported to a new location by gravity or currents. Drift is best known from rivers and ocean currents, but can also occur on land, whenever organisms leave their […]

The biological world is composed of dense, communicating, and difficult to understand ensembles. Animals living in groups –a school of fish, a flock of birds– have evolved to act in concert, a quality needed for coordinated movement. More complex […]

Phragmosis is a method by which an animal defends itself in its burrow by using its own body as a barrier. This term was coined by W.M. Wheeler in 1927 to describe a cryptic defensive technique employed by arthropods […]

Bulldog ants (Myrmecia pyriformis) are the most dangerous ants on Earth. The name of these Australian native ants is due to the way they bite and hang off their victims using their mandibles: they sink their teeth and […]