May 19


Connecting neurons in the brain

By Margaret

May 19, 2019

The brain is made of neurons that are connected to one another. What has fascinated researchers for decades is how the complex patterns of neurons developed into functional circuits during the development of a person. That was when some scientists set out to understand the neuronal structure and function of fruit flies and they have discovered the signaling mechanism in these flies that makes the formation of neuronal circuits possible in the brain. The interconnected neurons in the brain which number about a hundred billion help us to form complex thoughts and actions. Although neurons have many different forms of sizes and shapes, one feature each of them have are synapses which are protrusions that help them to connect with other neurons. And some doctors set out to study how these synapses work in order to form complex circuits in the brain. The team turned to the brain of a developing fruit fly for help in understanding the process. They used the brain to study the specific molecular components that are involved in this action. The used a single cell model to mark and manipulate neuronal cells in the fruit fly brain. What they found were fascinating differences in the brain which they later published.

Key Takeaways:

  • The brain has lots of interconnecting neurons that function together as a single circuit and how this is done has fascinated researchers for decades.
  • The complex and interconnected circuits that are formed in our brain by the neurons help us to generate thought patterns that are complex along with complex actions.
  • Neurons can interact with another neuron by giving out protrusions from their body that help them to communicate with nearby neurons called synapses.

“In fruit flies, loss of Prl-1 led to defects in the formation of neuronal connections in several different circuits, suggesting that this protein phosphatase is of general importance in circuit formation. The team also identified through which signaling pathway Prl-1 exerts its function.”

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