How Dendrites Manage Learning With So Few RNA Molecules

The neurons in your brain are large cells that contain a cell body and dendrites, branched extensions along which impulses received from other cells at the synapses are transmitted to the cell body. The biochemistry of how all this happens is still being elucidated. Kenneth S Kosik, University of California Santa Barbara neuroscientist explains: “It’s fairly well established scientifically that the learning units in the brain are the synapses. Many neuroscientists think that synaptic learning requires new proteins made locally right at the synapse, which acts as its own control center.” The sheer number of synapses, however, makes it unlikely that all of them can make the RNA responsible for creating new proteins. RNA Scarcity Kenneth S. Kosik UCSB’s Harriman Professor of Neuroscience and co-director of the campus’s Neuroscience Research…


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