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neuroscience

Neuron drawings by Santiago Ramón y Cajal
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Why the First Drawings of Neurons Were Defaced

Every exquisite drawing by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the founder of modern neuroscience, is marred by a curious mark. Here is the little-known story behind it.

Neurons and astrocytes
Abstractions blog

The Oldest Mini-Brains Have Lifelike Young Cells

“Organoid” brain tissue models grown in a lab for two years can help scientists study a critical period of development just before and after birth.

cerebral organoid, or mini-brain
Abstractions blog

Mini-Brains Go Modular

To create a good living replica of the human brain, your best hope may be to let “organoid” components assemble it for you.

evolution

Can Microbes Encourage Altruism?

If gut bacteria can sway their hosts to be selfless, it could answer a riddle that goes back to Darwin.

Man emerging from particals climbing monolith
consciousness

A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts

New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future than do the sum of their microscopic components.

Photo of a sleeping rat with a teddy bear
chronobiology

Researchers Tap a Sleep Switch in the Brain

Powerful new experiments have uncovered some of the molecular underpinnings of sleep.

Riley LeBlanc examines her brain.
neuroscience

Infant Brains Reveal How the Mind Gets Built

Is the brain a blank slate, or is it wired from birth to understand the world?

Quantum Brain GIF
neuroscience

A New Spin on the Quantum Brain

A new theory explains how fragile quantum states may be able to exist for hours or even days in our warm, wet brain. Experiments should soon test the idea.

neuroscience

The Neuroscience Behind Bad Decisions

Irrationality may be a consequence of the brain’s ravenous energy needs.