A New Discovery May Explain What Makes The Human Brain Unique

Enlarge this image

Enlarge this image

It tells other brain cells to quiet down but other than that, no one is quite sure what else it does. The newest of these surprises is a new type of neuron, with a rare rose-shaped appearance that gave the newly discovered neuronal cells the name of Rosehip.

Researchers have discovered a new type of inhibitory neuron present in human, but not mouse, brains.

The cells have not been seen in animals used in the lab and display "anatomical features never described in rodents", the paper says. So then, perhaps it's not surprising that the team didn't find any genetic hint of rosehip neurons in mice.

These cells were extracted from the top layer of the cortex, the most complex structure in nature.

Digital reconstruction of a rosehip neuron in the human brain showing bundle of nerve fibres around central cell body.

The scientists pointed out that inhibitory cells, similarly to the excitatory cells, are well-documented, both in the brains of humans and in the brains of other animals. Scientists studying brain diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease, autism or schizophrenia would also get a more clear understanding from this finding, he said. These "rosehip neurons", were found in the uppermost layer of the cortex, which is home to many different types of neurons that inhibit the activity of other neurons. The samples were from the neocortex, the portion of the brain responsible for higher-order thinking.

A scientist named Gábor Tamás and members of his lab were studying brain cells called inhibitory neurons, which act like the brakes in a auto. For one thing, "it throws some doubt on the ability to use the mouse to study certain elements of human function and disease", Lein says. Several other neurons have been claimed earlier to be unique to humans but have been later found in other species he explained. And when they attach to other cells, they latch onto a specific region, which may indicate they're somehow involved in information flow.

Tennis Player Receives Code Violation For Briefly Removing Her Shirt Before Set
Cornet's treatment is a stark contrast to Djokovic's, and Fox 35 Good Day Anchor Bob Frier believes this is "totally sexist". When Cornet returned to court she realised her shirt was back-to-front and quickly took it off and put it on correctly.

Looking at the position, anatomy, and genes activated by the cells allowed the researchers to categorise them into 10 subtypes of what's called a GABAergic interneuron.

In a press release, Gábor Tamás, a neuroscientist at the University of Szeged in Szeged, Hungary, who was involved in the study, described this by comparing inhibitory neurons to brakes on a vehicle.

"This particular cell type - or vehicle type - can stop at places other cell types cannot stop", Tamás said.

Ongoing efforts to inventory all the cell types in the human brain may well turn up similar discoveries in future, Gordon adds.

The researchers' next step is to look for rosehip neurons in other parts of the brain, and to explore their potential role in brain disorders.

Thanks to the ease with which they can be raised, their quick breeding cycles, and short life times, mice make for a good starting point in neurological studies.

"Our brains are not just enlarged mouse brains", said Trygve Bakken, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Scientist at the Allen Institute for Brain Science and an author on the study. From identifying the brain cells responsible for particular functions to using stem cells to stimulate tissue healing, it seems there is no limit to what the science can do today. "But what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is the capacity and the output of our brain". Note: material may have been edited for length and content.

Recommended News

  • WestJet and Air Canada announce fee increases for checked luggage

    WestJet and Air Canada announce fee increases for checked luggage

    JetBlue was a latecomer to checked bag fees, which became the norm in the airline industry in 2008. Those with bags over the limit (s) will be charged $150, a $50 increase from the previous fee.
    8th Gen Intel Core U-series and Y-series deliver Gigabit Internet

    8th Gen Intel Core U-series and Y-series deliver Gigabit Internet

    Dell is making its flagship XPS 13 even more affordable with the new model powered by the new Intel 8th Generation i3 processor. The U-series is more powerful among the two families of processors as announced by the chipset maker.
    French and British boats clash in 'scallop war'

    French and British boats clash in 'scallop war'

    Tempers have flared between the two groups over claims United Kingdom vessels are "pillaging" the shellfish from worldwide waters. The statement continued: "French fishermen resorting to intimidation and violence is hypocrisy in the extreme".
  • Experts' picks: Don't bet against Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens

    Experts' picks: Don't bet against Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens

    Ferrer, who was ranked as high as No. 3 but is now 148th, made clear he plans to play a selective schedule of tournaments in 2019. One of the most eagerly-anticipated matches of the day was between Canadian teenagers Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
    Isro in quest of three astronauts for manned mission

    Isro in quest of three astronauts for manned mission

    Union minister Jitendra Singh said the first unmanned flight of the programme is likely within 30 months, according to IANS . "Two unmanned Gaganyaan missions will be undertaken prior to sending humans to space", ISRO chief K Sivan told reporters.
    Trump to Republican voters: 'I love Florida' and endorse Ron DeSantis

    Trump to Republican voters: 'I love Florida' and endorse Ron DeSantis

    While Putnam was focused on a grassroots campaign, DeSantis was an nearly nightly feature on Fox News, usually defending Trump. He had become one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress before deciding to run for agriculture commissioner.
  • Strictly Come Dancing 2018 final two celebs REVEALED

    Strictly Come Dancing 2018 final two celebs REVEALED

    Apart from that I think maybe with a spin it would fly off somewhere. Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in the autumn. I'm so excited to be joining this year's Strictly line-up.
    White House Flag Is Lowered a 2nd Time

    White House Flag Is Lowered a 2nd Time

    McCain was a frequent critic of President Donald Trump on everything from his leadership style to his Russian Federation policy. The episode highlighted the outsider president's impulse to harbor personal resentments regardless of political repercussions.
    Bob Costas and NBC 'close to parting ways' after almost  40 years

    Bob Costas and NBC 'close to parting ways' after almost 40 years

    Costas, who began his tenure with NBC in 1979, reportedly pulls in a seven-figure salary for his limited role. His role at NBC now is an emeritus role, similar to the one that journalist Tom Brokaw has at the network.
  • Fully functioning Apple-1 computer on the block

    Fully functioning Apple-1 computer on the block

    Another thing that makes this particular Apple-1 unique is that there aren't any modifications to the board. The consigner paid $300 to the original owner, a co-worker who bought it at The Byte Shop, said Livingston.
    Theresa May dances at school on first day of Africa trade trip

    Theresa May dances at school on first day of Africa trade trip

    Mrs May appeared to be pleased with the reception, thanking the children for dancing with her. It's tough to say, but the Evening Standard christens it the "Maybot".
    Manchester United should stick with José Mourinho - and give him some money

    Manchester United should stick with José Mourinho - and give him some money

    In his first season as Real Madrid's manager in 2010-11, Jose Mourinho led the team to its first Copa del Rey title in 18 years. Nemanja Matic was one of six United alterations, with the defensive midfielder forming part of a back three.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.