CONNECT THE NEURONS  In this computer rendering of a bit of mouse brain based on scanning electron images, some nerve cell dendrites touch an axon (green) and make connections (orange), while other dendrites don’t (blue). ~~ N. Kasthuri et al/Cell 2015

CONNECT THE NEURONS In this computer rendering of a bit of mouse brain based on scanning electron images, some nerve cell dendrites touch an axon (green) and make connections (orange), while other dendrites don’t (blue). ~~ N. Kasthuri et al/Cell 2015

SEE-THROUGH VIEW  Using a method that rendered tissue translucent, researchers were able to see alpha-synuclein clumps (green) in the gut of a mouse intermingled with nerve cells (red) and astrocytes (white). Cell nuclei are blue. ~~ Collin Challis, Gradinaru Group/Caltech

Protein linked to Parkinson’s travels from gut to brain

SEE-THROUGH VIEW Using a method that rendered tissue translucent, researchers were able to see alpha-synuclein clumps (green) in the gut of a mouse intermingled with nerve cells (red) and astrocytes (white). Cell nuclei are blue. ~~ Collin Challis, Gradinaru Group/Caltech

Attn pot growers: potency matters; but not in the good way. A recent study shows that use of high-potency pot may cause permanent damage to fibers linking the 2 sides of the brain.

High-potency pot smokers show brain-fiber damage

Attn pot growers: potency matters; but not in the good way. A recent study shows that use of high-potency pot may cause permanent damage to fibers linking the 2 sides of the brain.

IT’S SHOWTIME  Mice that grew up with lots of flashing lights and noise had brain and behavior abnormalities. ~~ schalkm/iStockphoto

Sounds and glowing screens impair mouse brains

IT’S SHOWTIME Mice that grew up with lots of flashing lights and noise had brain and behavior abnormalities. ~~ schalkm/iStockphoto

PAPER TOSS  When sheets of paper were scrunched, variations in surface area (larger on the left) led to balls with different levels of crumpled folding. Surface area is one part of a new equation that may help describe how brains fold. ~~ Suzana and Luiza Herculano-Houzel

Wrinkled brain mimics crumpled paper

PAPER TOSS When sheets of paper were scrunched, variations in surface area (larger on the left) led to balls with different levels of crumpled folding. Surface area is one part of a new equation that may help describe how brains fold. ~~ Suzana and Luiza Herculano-Houzel

Stimulating the vestibular nerve led people to shed fat in a small trial.

Zap to the head leads to fat loss

Stimulating the vestibular nerve led people to shed fat in a small trial.

Once we learn a word, our brain sees the string of letters as a picture, even if the word isn't a real one.

The brain sees words, even nonsense ones, as pictures

Once we learn a word, our brain sees the string of letters as a picture, even if the word isn't a real one.

New cell types discovered in the brains of mice

Shrub cells are true to form

New cell types discovered in the brains of mice

TIME AND PLACE  In a mouse’s entorhinal cortex, island cells (blue) seem to help handle timing information, while ocean cells (red and yellow) detect different contexts. ~~ Tonegawa Laboratory

Separate cell types encode memory’s time, place

TIME AND PLACE In a mouse’s entorhinal cortex, island cells (blue) seem to help handle timing information, while ocean cells (red and yellow) detect different contexts. ~~ Tonegawa Laboratory

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