Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yale Scientists Discover New Technique For Studying Living Cells, Furthering Knowledge Of Diseases Like Parkinson's

Date:
November 15, 1999
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Yale researchers have developed a new method for recording the electrical activities within living cells, which could lead to better treatment for diseases like Parkinson's, and provide clues to how learning occurs.

New Haven, Conn. -- Yale researchers have developed a new method for recording the electrical activities within living cells, which could lead to better treatment for diseases like Parkinson's, and provide clues to how learning occurs.

Related Articles


"This new technique offers the hope of understanding and treating degenerative neurological diseases such as Parkinson's," said Leonard Kaczmarek, M.D., professor of pharmacology at the Yale School of Medicine and the study's principal investigator.

Abnormalities of mitochondria -- tiny organelles that produce the energy to keep all cells alive -- have long been suspected in diseases like Parkinson's. Because of their small size, it has previously been impossible to record the electrical activity of mitochondria in living cells.

The new technique of mitochondrial recording will allow scientists to study parts of cells that have been inaccessible. The technique, which is detailed in the November 12 issue of Science, has already led to insights into how changes within neurons may underlie learning and memory.

Using the large nerve cells and connections of squid, the scientists devised a form of electrical recording that for the first time allowed them to observe the activity of mitochondria inside the synaptic terminal of a neuron, where information is passed from one neuron to the next.

"The effectiveness of this information transfer can change in time, and it is this kind of change that is thought to underlie learning," said Elizabeth A. Jonas, M.D., an investigator on the study who developed the technique.

Neurons are the cells of the nervous system that control behavior and moods. When a neuron receives a signal from the outside world or from another neuron, it has to have a way of "remembering" whether it has been stimulated previously. This is essential for the neuron to function properly.

"Part of this neuronal memory may occur in the mitochondria and we were surprised to find that very brief stimulation of a neuron caused electrical behavior of the mitochondria to increase 60-fold," said Jonas.

Although the neuron was stimulated for only one or two seconds, Jonas said, the mitochondria seemed to "remember" the stimulus for thirty seconds or more. This finding, coupled with earlier work, strongly suggests that the mitochondria prime the neuron to respond more effectively to new stimuli during this time.

JoAnn Buchanan, M.D., of the department of molecular and cell physiology at Stanford University, used electron microscopy to verify that the recordings were on mitochondria.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Yale Scientists Discover New Technique For Studying Living Cells, Furthering Knowledge Of Diseases Like Parkinson's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991115065955.htm>.
Yale University. (1999, November 15). Yale Scientists Discover New Technique For Studying Living Cells, Furthering Knowledge Of Diseases Like Parkinson's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991115065955.htm
Yale University. "Yale Scientists Discover New Technique For Studying Living Cells, Furthering Knowledge Of Diseases Like Parkinson's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991115065955.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins