Researchers from the Alena Institute of Brain Diseases have discovered a new type of neuron in postmortem samples of the human cerebral cortex. For their shape, they were called "rosehip neurons", and their true purpose greatly delighted and upset scientists. On the one hand, this is a great discovery, but on the other, old models and methods of studying the brain can now be thrown into the trash.
Rosehip neurons are distinguished by a very compact, dense arrangement of nerve fibers around the center, which has not previously been found in the main experimental object - mice. In addition to the shape, these neurons are also distinguished by a unique genetic code, as well as the mechanism of formation of connections-synapses. It has been established that rosehip neurons are inhibitors; they directly affect the work of neighboring nerve cells, triggering or suppressing the activity of individual genes.
According to indirect signs, rosehip neurons are not scattered over the cerebral cortex, but are located at strategic points and are responsible for controlling the implementation of some of its functions. However, this is a theory, an area of further study, but now scientists are worried about something else. First, there are remotely similar large spindle-shaped neurons in the brains of developed social beings - whales, monkeys. Secondly, they are guaranteed to be absent in rodents and this is a big problem.
It turns out that the human brain, as a highly developed creature, is even more different from the mouse than we thought earlier. And how now to simulate its work in rodents, how to test new drugs, how to conduct research, if we know in advance that everything is arranged in them and in our brains and should work differently? People cannot be used as experimental creatures, and you cannot feed enough monkeys and whales at all. Problem.