12 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Neurons Use Viruses to Share Information and Learn

When genes are activated, the instructions encoded within their DNA are first transcribed into a related molecule called RNA. Shepherd’s colleague Elissa Pastuzyn showed that the Arc shells can enclose RNA and move it from one neuron to another. And that’s basically what retroviruses do—they use protein shells to protect their own RNA as it moves between cells in a host. So our neurons use a repurposed viral gene to transmit genetic information between each other in an oddly virus-like...
Folksonomies: dna neurons virus microbiology
Folksonomies: dna neurons virus microbiology
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19 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 A Single Neuron Can Recognize Patterns

Neocortical neurons have thousands of excitatory synapses. It is a mystery how neurons integrate the input from so many synapses and what kind of large-scale network behavior this enables. It has been previously proposed that non-linear properties of dendrites enable neurons to recognize multiple patterns. In this paper we extend this idea by showing that a neuron with several thousand synapses arranged along active dendrites can learn to accurately and robustly recognize hundreds of unique p...
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19 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Juxtaposition is the Spice of Life

Let me suggest a new axiom: juxtaposition is the spice of life. Humanity’s biggest talent, unique to us, is juxtaposing, finding and operating novel relationships between things or ideas... Recent ideas on neural activity suggest that the brain operates in a very associative way, with small neuron clusters containing core concepts, rather in the way a battery holds a trickle charge. These core concepts would be irreducibly small fragments of sounds or sights, or any phenomena that you exper...
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The brain can be wired more ways then there are atoms in the Universe, and new combinations create new ideas and innovations.