Take an animated look inside the neuron, and learn how scientists are addressing brain disease. With approximately 86 billion neurons in the brain, humans contain the most complex communications network imaginable. To address diseases of brain development and degeneration, neuroscientists are investigating how and why this network breaks down, and what can be done to repair it.
One area of study is dendrites, which are the tree-like structures of neurons, that receive electrical impulses. Researchers are carefully mapping out brain circuits and uncovering how connectivity changes can result in defects of the visual system or behavioral problems. The core section of the neuron is the cell body. Genetic engineering tools are revealing how mutations impact brain development and contribute to autism spectrum disorder or rare, inherited forms of neurological disease.
The transmission of nerve impulses occurs along the axon, which is insulated, much like an electrical wire, by a fatty layer called the myelin sheath. Scientists have invented a medicine to stop the immune system from mistakenly attacking this layer, which occurs during multiple sclerosis. Other molecules currently in development instruct the body to regenerate the sheath and repair damage. The axon also transports valuable cellular cargo, such as neurotransmitters, along tracks from one end of the neuron to the other.
Researchers are testing drug candidates for their ability to remove molecular traffic jams when this transport system fails, as often occurs in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The axon terminals make connections called synapses with other cells, using neurotransmitters as signals. Some scientists are evaluating how finely tuning the receptors for these chemicals could ease depression and anxiety.
Others are finding ways to promote the regrowth of lost synapses, which could halt neurodegeneration. From genetics to behavior, neuroscience is accelerating new interventions for the most challenging disorders of the nervous system.
On a steep slope in Mosman, on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, TKD Architects were asked not just to design a six-bedroom family home that took advantage of the views, but also to take charge of the interior architecture and styling – from the furniture and flooring right down to the artwork, bedding and even the cutlery. All their Shanghai-based clients needed to do was unlock the door and walk into their completely finished home.
As severe drought in the West forces states to make drastic water cuts, Las Vegas offers a road map to making the most out of every drop of water. Since 2002, Southern Nevada has cut its Colorado River water use by 26% while its population has grown by 750,000.
The Line is a proposed smart linear city in Saudi Arabia in Neom, Tabuk, currently under construction, which is designed to have no cars, streets or carbon emissions.
The Line is being described as a one-building vertical city outfitted with exterior mirrors, big enough to house 9 million people — along with everything they need, from parks and waterfalls to flying taxis and robot maids. There are even plans to include an artificial moon for residents to gaze upon.
With its proposed width of only 656 feet, The Line will rely primarily on its height to encompass its residents and a host of modern trappings, such as a high-speed rail to connect sections of the 106-mile city. Saudi Arabian officials claim The Line will be otherwise devoid of roads, cars or emissions and will be powered strictly by clean energy (although details have not been released). Here are a few of most notable proposed features of The Line:
Positano is the most famous and iconic village, the pearl of the Amalfi Coast, the spectacular strip of coastline with the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea to one side and the peaks of the Lattari Mountains to the other.
It lies in the ravine of the Mulini Valley, along the Gulf of Salerno, southeast of Naples. Although it was known in the 4th century, Amalfi was of little importance until the mid-6th century under the Byzantines. As one of the first Italian maritime republics in the 9th century, it rivaled Pisa, Genoa, Venice, and Gaeta as a naval power in trade with the East. Subdued and annexed by King Roger II of Sicily in 1131, it was sacked by the Pisans in 1135 and 1137 and rapidly declined in importance, although its maritime code, the Tavola Amalfitana (“Table of Amalfi”), was recognized in the Mediterranean until 1570.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the outlook for the world economy, how worried you should be about Elon Musk’s superpowers (12:50), and a study allays fears that covid vaccines harm menstrual cycles (16:50).