Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stars of the cortex

so, here it is, my first science post. science is what i do during the day, and while its such a different world from fashion and art, it does have its own certain beauty. for my research, i study the brain, and one of the very first scientists to study the brain also made some of the most exquisite drawings anatomical drawings. Ramon y Cajal lived and worked during the early 1900's and his detailed drawings of brain were some of the first proof that the brain was made of specific cells, rather an some amorphous substance.

this is a detailed drawing of a single brain cell, called a neuron.

neurons are arranged in very specific patterns throughout the brain. these neurons are arranged in layers in the cortex.

cells are arranged differently in another brain area, the cerebellum.

these are some examples of a different cell type, the glia. these are called astrocytes, the astro part refers to the fact that they look like stars.

The little guy marked "D" is a one of the inspirations for the name of this blog. he's a spiny stellate cell, stellate meaning 'like a star'. i've always thought it was the cutest little cell, and that stellate was one of the loveliest words.

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