Science Haiku 3x3

More science-themed haikus. I seem to keep writing them because we tend to put out three “mini press releases” at a time (a relic of the days when they were printed on two sides of a fold-up page and mailed). So I could pick just one to blog about, or I could try to fit all three into one post (which tends to get muddled when it is on subjects as varied as physics, neurobiology and genetics). Or else I can leave these little breadcrumbs inviting you to follow them back to our website, where the fuller explanation awaits (or, from there, you can follow the links in the releases to get to the scientific papers).

If anything ties these three together, it as that each, it its own way, is a demonstration of a new technique that will have a ripple effect on others’ research. Lab mice with genetic “switches” that can direct the actions of specific brain cells; the smallest, most sensitive device yet for measuring phenomena in superconductors; and a method for revealing high-resolution, 3-D images of individual chromosomes. Just follow the links.

 

On magnetic fields

In your superconductor

Use a nano-SQUID

microglia in a mouse brain microglia in a mouse brain

 

 

Keen microglia,

Octopus-like, supple-spined

Attending brain cells

 

Working chromosomes

Showing their frills, flaps and folds:

Not your grandma’s X

 

 

 

 

More like this

To the extent that the cognitive sciences actually consider the brain, the focus is clearly on neurons. Even the name of the field "neuroscience" suggests that neurons take the center stage. However, neurons are vastly outnumbered by glia, a different type of cell that is now known to be…
Here is an interesting approach to fighting Alzheimer's disease: use adjuvants to activate microglia in the nasal cavity. Frenkel et al. publishing the Annals of Neurology show that the administration of an adjuvant called Protollin into the nasal cavity of both young and old mice transgenically…
TRICHOTILLOMANIA (or hair pulling) is a condition characterised by excessive grooming and strong, repeated urges pull out one's own hair. It is classified as an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and is relatively common, affecting about 2 in 100 people. Sufferers normally feel an increasing…
Ever since I started to learn about brains, back in the mid 1980s, from some really brainy brain experts like Terry Deacon and Joe Marcus, I always knew that glial cells were important. But I now read in current material in Nature Neuroscience, that "A decade ago, glia were the neglected…