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A Secret Language of Cells? Cell Computations Uncovered

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glial cells, illustration

The researchers' model centers on how glial cells cooperate with neurons to fuel the brain and participate in computations.

Credit: Getty Images

Scientists at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and  EPFL's Blue Brain Project in Switzerland have published a theory describing a secret cell language for sharing information about the outside world.

The researchers used a computational model to confirm that metabolic pathways could plausibly encode details about neuromodulators that boost energy consumption. Neuromodulators regulate the exchange of information in the brain, and the researchers' astrocytic energy metabolism model focused on how astrocytes collaborate with neurons to drive the brain and engage in computation.

KAUST's said, "The teams' simulations of neuromodulator-stimulated glucose metabolism in an astrocyte suggest that metabolic pathways could be capable of more information processing than we previously realized," says Pierre Magistretti, director of the KAUST Smart Health Initiative.

From King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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