Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New information about glia

The old ideas of neurons be "it" and the glia (or neuroglia) being merely "glue" are just getting shot all to pieces these days, eh?

The latest volley of shot comes from a recent article in the journal Science. Researchers at The Rockefeller University in New York found that in worms, "glial cells assist sensory neurons to perceive and respond to stimuli by improving signal-to-noise ratio." In fact, they found more than that . . . removal of the glia just totally messed up the neurons and made them nonfunctional.

So which are the cells vital to nervous function now, eh?

Check out the new findings . . .

Glia are Essential for Sensory Organ Function in C. elegans
T. Bacaj et al.
Science 31 October 2008:
Vol. 322. no. 5902, pp. 744 - 747 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1163074]
[The original article]

A New Glance at Glia
A. Reichenbach, T. Pannicke
Science 31 October 2008:
Vol. 322. no. 5902, pp. 693 - 694 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1166197]
[Editor's perspective includes a great image explaining the discovery.]

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