Our bodies contain a brain which is largely composed of neurons. These neurons are one of the most vital cells in the body which are transmission lines of information that keep a body in touch with itself and the world. None of the other body organs would work without neurons.
With the ever increasing advancements in technology, powerful tools of microscopy are allowing neuroscientists to figure out how they develop and operate. In Physorg…
“Proteins are synthesized within the neuron and carried in a bubble called a vesicle down highways of microtubules that point to the dendrite and the axon. Neither the two proteins themselves nor the microtubules know where the proteins should end up, so a mix of dendritic and axonal proteins will go both ways, to the dendrite and to the axon.
Arnold admitted that the system is counterintuitive, if not downright complicated.”
“You’d think the proteins would be put on the right microtubules to start with.” But the proteins are not always put on the correct path. Some proteins will end up in the right place, while others must be redirected.”
How these molecular machines recognize which is which was not explained but when a protein ends up at the wrong end, other myosins round up wayward vesicles and turn them back. Myosin Va acts as a filter at the axons, allowing axon-bound vesicles in but carrying dendrite-bound packages out. Axonal proteins that end up in a dendrite are placed on the surface of the cell, where Myosin VI plucks them off and carries them to the axon. Myosin VI also helps axonal proteins find the axon in the first place. These specified designed functions are pretty amazing, confirming God’s amazing ability to create such things!
Ever walk into a crowded room or subway where there is a lot of noise and try to listen what is going on? How does neurons get their information to the right target when your experiencing such an intensely complex environment of the brain? Researchers, Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh are discovering some of the most amazing mechanisms neurons use to communicate.
In Mellon College’s website…
“Over the short time scale of a few milliseconds, the brain engaged its inhibitory circuitry to make the neurons fire in synchrony. This simultaneous, correlated firing creates a loud, but simple, signal. The effect was much like a crowd at a sporting event chanting, “Let’s go team!” Over short time intervals, individual neurons produced the same short message, increasing the effectiveness with which activity was transmitted to other brain areas. The researchers say that in both human and neuronal communication alike, this collective communication works well for simple messages, but not for longer or more complex messages that contain more intricate information.”
“The neurons studied used longer timescales (around one second) to convey these more complex concepts. Over longer time intervals, the inhibitory circuitry generated a form of competition between neurons, so that the more strongly activated neurons silenced the activity of weakly activated neurons, enhancing the differences in their firing rates and making their activity less correlated. Each neuron was able to communicate a different piece of information about the stimulus without being drowned out by the chatter of competing neurons. It would be like being in a group where each person spoke in turn. The room would be much quieter than a sports arena and the immediate audience would be able to listen and learn much more complex information.”
Researchers are getting interesting ideas from this effective two-strategy style on how neurons are designed, ideas like man-made communication networks around the same principles. One must applaud these articles for resisting the temptation that is all too common in secular science about inserting evolutionary speculation into their work. Now think about this…how a complex set of mechanical processes – motors, chemical signals, guideposts, filters, networks, transmission rules – all converge into the brain of a neuroscientist looking into his or her own head and reasoning about it is astonishing!