That's why they're special people?


A group of researchers has identified a new type of human neuron not yet found in mice and other well-studied animals in the laboratory. Discovery can help a better understanding of the human brain and aspects separating it from the gray matter of other animals.

"We do not understand what makes human gray matter so special," said Ed Lein, one of the researchers in the new study at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. "Studying the differences in cell and circuitry is a good starting point, and now we have the tools to do it," the scientist added.

The new study, published on August 27 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Lein and colleagues, revealed a possible answer to this question. The research team, led by Lein along with Gábor Tamás, neurosavant at Szeged University in Hungary, revealed that at least until now, the new type of neuron appears only in humans, writes Science Daily.

Tamás and her doctoral student, Eszter Boldog, called the new type of "rosehip" neuron, because the dense bundle around the center of each cell resembles a rose flower that has no petals left.

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The new discovered cells belong to a class of neurons known as inhibitors, that is, that "brakes" the activities of other brain neurons.

Although so far it has only been found in humans, it does not necessarily mean that there is a unique case in nature, and there is no evidence to this effect; but their lack of rodents is interesting, thus adding these cells to the short list of specialized neurons that can only exist in humans and (possibly) other primates.

Researchers do not know the exact role of these cells, but their absence in mice indicates the difficulty with which human brain diseases based on laboratory animals can be described.

In the study, scientists used tissue samples from the brains of two deceased people who were 50 years old at the time of death. These have been taken from the upper layer of the cortex, the outermost region of the brain that is responsible for human consciousness and for other functions that we believe unique to our species. "It is the most complex part of the brain and it is generally accepted that it is the most complex structure in nature," Lein added.

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