Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New: Rosehip Brain Neurons

Researchers recently discovered an entirely new type of neuron or ‘thinking cell’ that may only exist in the human brain. Since my middle name is “Rose,” the research caught my attention. This new cell type is called the “rosehip neuron” since the cells are shaped like the fruit of rose bushes. What does it do? Hmmm-m. That’s not quite clear yet, although they comprise about 10 percent of the neocortex. What does it look like?  Molecular neuroscientist Trygve Bakken of the Allen Institute, described this new neurons as “a little different” from other neurons. “It’s very bushy,” he said. Apparently the dendrites are very compact with lots of branch points, making it look a little bit like a rosehip. This type of neuron does not seem to exist in rodents that are frequently used as model species in neuroscience. That may help to explain the reason that many treatments for brain disorders seem to work in rodent models, but fail to work in human brains. 

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