Dorsal Fyn Impulses that zip around our nervous system need a…

Dorsal Fyn

Impulses that zip around our nervous system need a clear path – a blockage might slow down or stop important brain functions. In these mouse neurons, super-resolution microscopy follows the movements of a molecule called Fyn, which usually helps to send signals around the dorsal hippocampus, part of the brain where memories are made. Yet researchers found genetic mutations affecting another molecule called Tau – associated with Alzheimer’s disease – causes Fyn to bunch up into ‘nanoclusters’. These clog up healthy signals between neurons, potentially explaining the memory loss common in dementia. Such advanced microscopy techniques, able to zoom in on single molecules, may help to compare the behaviour of Tau and Fyn after treatments with drug compounds designed to break up the clusters and combat the symptoms of dementia.

World Alzheimer’s Month starts today

Written by John Ankers

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2019 September 1 M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster Image Credit…

2019 September 1

M45: The Pleiades Star Cluster
Image Credit & Copyright: Marco Lorenzi (Glittering Lights)

Explanation: Have you ever seen the Pleiades star cluster? Even if you have, you probably have never seen it as dusty as this. Perhaps the most famous star cluster on the sky, the bright stars of the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. With a long exposure from a dark location, though, the dust cloud surrounding the Pleiades star cluster becomes very evident. The featured exposure took over 12 hours and covers a sky area several times the size of the full moon. Also known as the Seven Sisters and M45, the Pleiades lies about 400 light years away toward the constellation of the Bull (Taurus). A common legend with a modern twist is that one of the brighter stars faded since the cluster was named, leaving only six stars visible to the unaided eye. The actual number of Pleiades stars visible, however, may be more or less than seven, depending on the darkness of the surrounding sky and the clarity of the observer’s eyesight.

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