Category archives: Neurobiology

The (energetical) cost of having a brain

The (energetical) cost of having a brain

Neurobiology

By Jorge Mejías

Our brain constitutes one of the finest pieces of natural machinery known, and it allows us to efficiently interact with our environment: searching for food, avoiding predators, communicating with other individuals, and even some more sophisticated stuff — like enjoying a well composed piece of classical (or rock) music. However, all this comes at a […]

Carbon nanotubes to study neuron activity

Carbon nanotubes to study neuron activity

BiomedicineMaterialsNeurobiologyPhysicsPhysiology

By Francisco R. Villatoro

Human brain has about 85 billion neurons. Each neuron forms thousands of chemical and electrical synapses with other neurons. To record the synaptic activity of each neuron in the brain an intracellular probe with a millivolt scale is required. Glass electrodes are widely used, but they are fragile and they have high impedance. An intracellular […]

Mysterious vaults and neuronal regeneration

Mysterious vaults and neuronal regeneration

Molecular biologyNeurobiology

By Carlos Romá-Mateo

From a certain point of view, eukaryotic cells could be described as microscopic power plants equipped with factories and energy-generating platforms, inside of which highways and compartments are constantly built and rebuilt, and a fluent traffic provides a constant recycling of structures while getting rid of garbage. The trafficking also involves material coming in and […]

The mechanical eye

The mechanical eye

Neurobiology

By Francisco J Hernández

About 95% of the photoreceptors in our retina are rods, which we use for nocturnal vision, since they can detect single photons. During the day, rods saturate, and we use the other 5% of photoreceptors, the cones, which mediate color vision and do not saturate even at the highest light levels. There is still a […]

We Still Don’t Know How We Smell: The Shape and Vibrational Theories of Olfaction

We Still Don’t Know How We Smell: The Shape and Vibrational Theories of Olfaction

NeurobiologyPhysics

By Daniel Manzano

Olfaction is one of the most important senses. It protects us from eating spoiled food, it helps animals to detect their relatives, it makes the perfume business quite successful and, in general, it connects us to the volatile chemicals surrounding us. These chemicals, usually called “odorants”, can be detected even if they are in a […]