News of the WeekNeuroscience

Synapses Shout to Overcome Distance

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Science  25 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5483, pp. 1273
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5483.1273b

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How do you make yourself heard if you are standing far from the fray? If you are a synapse, like a human, you shout. So says new research published in the September issue of Nature Neuroscience, answering a question that has perplexed neuroscientists for decades: namely, how a message delivered at a synapse far from the cell body--which must fade as it travels through the cell--can make itself heard above the din of messages picked up by close-in synapses.