Tiny microscopes reveal hidden role of nervous system cells -- MEDICA Trade Fair

Tiny microscopes reveal hidden role of nervous system cells

A microscope about the size of a penny is giving scientists a new window into the everyday activity of cells within the spinal cord. The innovative technology revealed that astrocytes--cells in the nervous system that do not conduct electrical signals and were traditionally viewed as merely supportive--unexpectedly react to intense sensation.

04/29/2016

Photo: Spinal Cord; Copyright: Salk Institute

Astrocytes in spinal sensory processing. Here, astrocytes (genetically labeled in green) in a spinal cord (co-stained with glial fibrillary acidic protein, red, to visualize its outline) react to the activity of sensation with their own chemical signals; © Salk Institute