Agur, Ricardo Miledi

The great mexican neuroscientist (aged 90) died on December 18th in Irvine (California)

Jan 8th

The Neuroscience community is much saddened to hear of the death of Ricardo Miledi at the age of 90. A medical doctor by training at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Ricardo went on to become a skilled electrophysiologist and had an illustrious career of over 50 plus years. He and Bernard Katz uncovered while in University College London (UCL) the role of calcium in synaptic neurotransmitter release.  As well as making many basic discoveries on the acetylcholine receptor channel, he developed the use of Xenopus oocytes to express exogenous channels and receptors, which then led to the functional cloning of a large number of major neurotransmitter receptors and allowed detailed structure-function studies. His work has influenced the fundamentals of channel physiology and function to the more complex synaptic physiology.

The deadline for applying to the Achucarro International Glia School is reaching!

Hurry up, submit your application before November 30th 2017

Nov 20

The application form to request a vacancy at our next Achucarro International Glia School 2018 was opened on September 15th, and will remain open until November 30th (17h CET).

Find all the details in our website:

New website section: Downloads!

We give another step in the Achucarro knowledge transfer and outreach strategy by making public and available some of the work and code developed for image analysis.

July 10

Our colleagues of the Laboratory of Glial Cell Biology, Iñaki Paris, Amanda Sierra and Jorge Valero have just released the first version of their code development named "ProMoIJ" (Process Motility in ImageJ), a pack of ImageJ macros to perform semi-automatic motility analysis of microglial processes in 3D from 2-photon time-lapse experiments.

New section on this website: Downloads!

These macros could also be adapted to analyse motility of non-hollow and non-twisted tubular structures such as cellular filaments, dendrites, dendritic spines, growth cone filopodia, cilia, plant roots, and growing stalactites. Importantly, ProMoIJ performs batch processing of the images (i.e. without manual intervention of the user), applying the same parameters values to all images.

This pack is the first software development code that we publish (under GNU license), and follows the institutional strategy for open access and open source.

New research project to fight memory loss in Alzheimer's Disease

The objective is to investigate whether genetically enhanced cholesterol biosynthesis can reverse the Alzheimer's disease

Nov 09

Dr. Mazahir T. Hasan, Ikerbasque Research Professor at the Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, located at the Scientific Park of the UPV/EHU in Leioa (Bizkaia, Spain) has been awarded one of the highly competitive National Institute of Health (NIH) R21 grant, funded with a total of USD 390,000.

© Jacek Dudzinski - Poland //

The National Institute for Aging is part of the NIH network of research centers in the US, and the funding agency for this R21 grant, which main objective is to test if genetically enhanced cholesterol biosynthesis in astrocytes and neurons can reverse the Alzheimer's disease (AD).  This project will be developed in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Ta-Yuan Chang at Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, USA).

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease and a type of dementia. The most common early symptom is the short-term memory loss, the difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, and loss of motivation, not managing self-care, and behavioral issues. In AD, the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques, the key culprit, disrupts cellular communication and connectivity in the brain by disrupting astrocytic calcium signaling and gliotransmitter release.

Cholesterol is important for brain functions, regulating dynamics membrane trafficking to cellular signaling systems, within and between cells. Even though brain represents only 2-3% of total body weight, roughly 25% of body cholesterol is found in the brain. Cholesterol is the building block of different steroid hormones, such as progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and vitamin D. Malfunction in brain cholesterol homeostasis can have detrimental effects on brain connectivity, especially communication between astrocytes and neurons. Because dietary cholesterol cannot cross the blood-brain-barrier, our project aims to overcome this problems by genetic control of cholesterol synthesis in neurons and astrocytes, with an expectation that this would help to cure the Alzheimer's disease.

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La función de las "neuronas migratorias" fue clave para la evolución temprana de los mamíferos y el desarrollo del cerebro humano

Una investigación en colaboración entre científicos de la Universidad de Oxford y el centro ACHUCARRO e IKERBASQUE concluye que la llegada de neuronas migratorias fue un factor primordial en el origen de la neocorteza.

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  • La neocorteza es la región del cerebro única de mamíferos que nos diferencia del resto de especies, rige nuestras conductas y nos permite sentir, razonar y en última instancia, ser humanos.
  • El manejo de información cerebral se compara a menudo con el de un ordenador. Sin embargo, existe un rasgo que los diferencia sustancialmente, y es que el cerebro se genera a sí mismo y sus piezas se ensamblan autonómicamente durante el desarrollo embrionario. Entender como el cerebro se genera y conecta, como enlaza sus grupos neuronales durante el desarrollo embrionario y como esos circuitos y neuronas se han ido ensamblando durante la evolución biológica resulta fundamental y necesario para comprender como funciona el cerebro.

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