“I guess your grades are more important to you than your morals are,” my English teacher spits out, lecturing our class about cheating that’s been going on in the school.
My classmates and I exchange glances. Well, yeah, we all seem to be thinking together. Isn’t that what they’ve been showing us since middle school?
and our mental and physical health.
"Those poor boys"
"She deserves to be punished too."
"I’m not saying I support rape, but-"
"Sorry to say - she deserved it."
"She put herself in harm’s way"
"But if she was fingered, then that’s not rape."
"She ruined their lives."
"Well she didn’t exactly say ‘no’.."
"Yea, but did you see what she was wearing?"
"Boys will be boys!"
"She should know better than to drink at a party…"
By Dr. Sonja Pyott
Department of Biology and Marine Biology
University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Wilmington, NC, USA
Specimen: Cochlea and Hair Cells
This confocal microscopy image of the organ of Corti is just stunning. Judges at the Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging Competition thought so too, and awarded Dr. Sonja Pyott 4th prize in the contest. For an even larger, more hi-res version, go here. Winners receive Olympus microscopes and other prizes! Guess who the 1st place winner is? Yeah, its the Brainbow mouse, which I discussed in a previous post.
The image above is of the normal mammalian organ of Corti, which is the epithelium which contains the sensory cells of the ear. Those cells are hair cells, which are stained green here with (I’m guessing) fluorescent phalloidin, which tags actin in the hair cells. The inner hair cells are in the lower left, and the three rows of outer hair cells are to the upper right. Nuclei of the inner hair cells are blue, which I’m guessing is DAPI. The spindly red things are the neurons, which are synapsing on the inner hair cells’ surface. The spiky things shooting out of the top of the inner hair cells are the stereocilia (which are made of actin, so green) which project into the fluid filled space above the organ of Corti. When sound waves are picked up by the ear canal and focused into the cochlea, the basilar membrane vibrates, causing the stereocilia to bend, which depolarizes the hair cells.
Staying connected is vital for our brain cells. Across a mass of 100 trillion bridges, called synapses, neurons combine to give our brain an unrivalled computing power. But there can be too much of a good thing, and too many active synapses can cause damage to the nervous system. The cognitive and muscular problems caused by Huntingdon’s disease are thought to be triggered in this way. Sufferers produce an abnormal version of a protein, a defect that causes the brain to develop too many stimulatory connections. Stress caused by this is evident in mice whose protein production has been ‘switched off’ in certain brain areas. Star-shaped cells that respond to brain damage explode into action (activity marked in green) in response to the disruption. Therefore, finding ways to counteract this effect, and allow healthy synapses to grow during development are a top priority for scientists looking for a cure.
Written by Jan Piotrowski
New research shows that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own set of symptoms. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness.