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Food for thought – how mitochondria power our nerves
Angelika Harbauer (Max Planck Research Group Leader at the MPI for Biological Intelligence in Martinsried)
Mitochondria are often called the „power house of the cell“, because they are responsible for converting sugars into usable energy forms for the cell. Mitochondria in our brain suffer from the daily wear and tear and need to be constantly replenished and repaired. But because our neurons can extend up to one meter, this is a logistical challenge for the cell. If mitochondrial maintenance is impaired, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s can ensue. Our research aims to shed light on the mechanisms and signals that regulate mitochondrial repair in neurons and help power our thoughts.
Afraid of losing some neurons with one or the other pint? Don't worry, your hippocampus adds neurons constantly to your brain's circuits
Gregor Pilz (Group Leader at Dept. Cell Biology and Anatomy, Biomedical Center, LMU Munich)
Neural stem cells (NSCs) generate new neurons both during brain development and throughout life. My lab studies the cellular principles of NSC biology and neural network function in the adult brain using rodent models of physiology, aging and disease. Aim of my research is to understand how physiologic and disease-associated alterations affect NSC behavior leading to plastic changes of the adult brain on a cellular, network and behavioral level.
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