Navigation Links
Simple mathematcal pattern describes shape of neuron 'jungle'
Date:6/20/2012

Neurons come in an astounding assortment of shapes and sizes, forming a thick inter-connected jungle of cells. Now, UCL neuroscientists have found that there is a simple pattern that describes the tree-like shape of all neurons.

Neurons look remarkably like trees, and connect to other cells with many branches that effectively act like wires in an electrical circuit, carrying impulses that represent sensation, emotion, thought and action.

Over 100 years ago, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience, sought to systematically describe the shapes of neurons, and was convinced that there must be a unifying principle underlying their diversity.

Cajal proposed that neurons spread out their branches so as to use as little wiring as possible to reach other cells in the network. Reducing the amount of wiring between cells provides additional space to pack more neurons into the brain, and therefore increases its processing power.

New work by UCL neuroscientists, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has revisited this century-old hypothesis using modern computational methods. They show that a simple computer program which connects points with as little wiring as possible can produce tree-like shapes which are indistinguishable from real neurons - and also happen to be very beautiful. They also show that the shape of neurons follows a simple mathematical relationship called a power law.

Power laws have been shown to be common across the natural world, and often point to simple rules underlying complex structures. Dr Herman Cuntz (UCL Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research) and colleagues find that the power law holds true for many types of neurons gathered from across the animal kingdom, providing strong evidence for Ramon y Cajal's general principle.

The UCL team further tested the theory by examining neurons in the olfactory bulb, a part of the brain where ne
'/>"/>

Contact: Clare Ryan
clare.ryan@ucl.ac.uk
44-203-108-3846
University College London
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. ORNL microscopy yields first proof of ferroelectricity in simplest amino acid
2. Consumers need simple, concise messages about benefits of phytonutrients
3. 23andMe contributes to genetic discoveries related to male pattern baldness
4. Movement patterns of endangered turtle vary from Pacific to Atlantic
5. Powerful sequencing technology decodes DNA folding pattern
6. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
7. Not a 1-way street: Evolution shapes environment of Connecticut lakes
8. International team uncovers new genes that shape brain size, intelligence
9. Did climate change shape human evolution?
10. The shape of things to come: NIST probes the promise of nanomanufacturing using DNA origami
11. Glycogen accumulation in neurons causes brain damage and shortens the lives of flies and mice
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/24/2014)... Dec. 23, 2014  Since its launch in December 2014, the ... the pain of trying to remember their usernames and passwords ... to their smartphones. To assist people who have struggled to ... that created 1U and focuses on redefining identity, announced today ...
(Date:12/19/2014)... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/8kmfcn/iphone_5s ) has ... Sensor - Apple/AuthenTec TMDR92 & Sapphire - Technology Report" ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 Following the acquisition of ... feature with the iPhone 5S. It is currently the ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... 2014 Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/s6qzt5/samsung_galaxy_s5 ) ... S5 - Home Button Synaptics Fingerprint Sensor Technology Analysis" ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 Based on a totally ... for the first time a fingerprint sensor in its ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):1U Offers Best Solution to the Username / Password Dilemma: For FREE! 21U Offers Best Solution to the Username / Password Dilemma: For FREE! 3iPhone 5S Fingerprint Sensor - Apple/AuthenTec TMDR92 & Sapphire - Technology Report 2Samsung Galaxy S5 - Home Button Synaptics Fingerprint Sensor Technology Analysis 2
... the Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI) in the US have ... Biosciences Institute Graduate Lecture Series. The lecture series consists ... tutorial in nature and are inspired by annual programs ... The purpose of the MBI Graduate Lecture ...
... test developed at the Kansas State University Diagnostic Laboratory ... and potentially fatal -- virus that affects dogs, especially ... disease that involves both domestic and wild canines. It ... have not yet been vaccinated, said Richard Oberst, professor ...
... changes to Canada,s fisheries legislation "have eviscerated" the ... country,s fish species, scientists at the University of ... study. The changes were "politically motivated," unsupported ... and are inconsistent with ecosystem-based management, fisheries ...
Cached Biology News:New test can diagnose emerging strains of canine parvovirus 2New test can diagnose emerging strains of canine parvovirus 3Changes to fisheries legislation have removed habitat protection for most fish species in Canada 2
(Date:1/22/2015)... January 22, 2015 Protocol Networks brings ... growing team of brand-neutral, independent consultants, Protocol Networks has ... explained that over the years, his company has attracted ... Town of Plainfield, as well as others. With the ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... 2015 Controlled Substance Compliance Services (CSCS), ... companies check the legal requirements around using controlled substances ... , As their international operations expand and become ... solutions built as a result of the first phase ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... PALO ALTO, Calif. , Jan. 22. 2015  Varian Medical ... equipment and software, has been honored for its commitment to ... most sustainable companies. Varian is the highest ranked healthcare equipment ... ranking, announced today during the World Economic Forum at ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... and NEW YORK , Dec. 24, ... company advancing patient care in critical areas, announced the closing ... stock, and warrants to purchase up to an aggregate 3,500,000 ... per share and $.01 per warrant.  The warrants have a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Protocol Networks Brings Independent Technology Consulting to the Constitution State 2Global Compliance Service for Controlled Substances to Expand to China 2Varian Honored Among World's 100 Most Sustainable Corporations 2PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Closing of Public Offering 2PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Closing of Public Offering 3
... Mass., Nov. 11 Contamination by an ... a cleanroom,s operation until,that organism can be ... effects on the schedules and productivity of ... new white paper, "The Microbial ID Breakthrough: ...
... Potential Benefits of Targeted Tissue Cooling During ... ... CXM ) and its operating unit InnerCool Therapies, Inc., today,announced ... is designed to induce localized cooling during surgery,for prostate cancer (radical ...
... Management to Host Teleconference on Monday, November 17, ... N.J., Nov. 11 Milestone,Scientific Inc. (OTC Bulletin ... today announced that the Company will,report its third ... nine,months ended September 30, 2008 on Friday, November ...
Cached Biology Technology:White Paper Details How DNA Sequencing Services Can Prevent Cleanroom Shutdowns at Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers 2White Paper Details How DNA Sequencing Services Can Prevent Cleanroom Shutdowns at Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers 3Cardium's InnerCool Announces New Tissue-Specific UroCool(TM) System for Use in Prostate Surgeries 2Cardium's InnerCool Announces New Tissue-Specific UroCool(TM) System for Use in Prostate Surgeries 3Cardium's InnerCool Announces New Tissue-Specific UroCool(TM) System for Use in Prostate Surgeries 4Cardium's InnerCool Announces New Tissue-Specific UroCool(TM) System for Use in Prostate Surgeries 5Cardium's InnerCool Announces New Tissue-Specific UroCool(TM) System for Use in Prostate Surgeries 6Cardium's InnerCool Announces New Tissue-Specific UroCool(TM) System for Use in Prostate Surgeries 7Cardium's InnerCool Announces New Tissue-Specific UroCool(TM) System for Use in Prostate Surgeries 8Milestone to Report Results for 2008 Third Quarter on Friday, November 14, 2008 2Milestone to Report Results for 2008 Third Quarter on Friday, November 14, 2008 3
... Salmonella genomes has allowed the development of ... pairs. The S. enterica Typhimurium (strain LT2) ... bp; 4,440 ORFs) and a plasmid, pSLT ... Sigma-Genosys have been designed to amplify all ...
... own microplate stacker system, offers fast and ... host devices:, , Ultra Evolution , SAFIRE ... and SpectraFluor Plus , LS Series of ... supporting a wide range of detection and ...
... life easier. It offers a wide array of features ... *Instruments supported: ... XP, PR, SR, PG-S, PG, SG, AT, MT, UMT, ... User guidance on the balance display ...
... STag Purification Kits enable rapid analytical to ... proteins produced from appropriate vectors. Sufficient reagents ... 1 mg target protein under native or ... S-protein Agarose, which specifically retains STag fusion ...
Biology Products: