Each of our brain cells could work like a mini-computer, according to the first recording of electrical activity in human cells at a super-fine level of detail.
The study has revealed a key structural difference between human and mouse neurons that could help explain our superior powers of intelligence.
Brain cells, or neurons, communicate by firing electrical impulses down their length, which researchers can detect and measure by putting microscopic electrodes inside them. Most such studies have been done on rodent neurons kept alive in a dish, where the cells can live for several hours. But Mark Harnett at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge wanted to see how human neurons compared with those of mice, so he used live tissue obtained from surgeons who were removing small chunks of the brain from people with epilepsy.
While people have recorded signals from inside human neurons before, it has always…
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