Biologists uncover ancient origin of neurons 19:46

Spanish biologists from the Center for Genomic Regulation at the Institute of Science and Technology in Barcelona have discovered the origins of the evolution of neurons in platozoans, or layered organisms, marine organisms no more than a millimeter in size that appeared on Earth about 800 million years ago. before. To work published In the scientific journal Cell.

Lamellars live in shallow, warm seas and feed on algae and microbes that live on the surface of rocks. Living things are so simple that they do not need any body parts or organs. These organisms control their behavior through peptidergic cells, which are specialized tissues that secrete peptides that control the movement or feeding of plasmozoans.

The researchers mapped all layered cell types, noting their properties. Each cell type played a specific role determined by a particular set of genes.

Peptidergic cells turned out to have much in common with neurons, which first appeared in more advanced animals only 100 million years later. Interspecific analysis showed that these similarities were specific to lamellae.

Biologists discovered that peptidergic cells form from cell vacuoles through special signals reminiscent of neurogenesis, the process by which neurons form. They also contain many gene modules necessary for information transfer.

Finally, the study authors used machine learning techniques to show that layered cell types communicate with each other using an intracellular system in which specific proteins called GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors) detect external signals and internally trigger a series of reactions in the cells. These external signals are carried by neuropeptides, which are chemical agents used by neurons in many physiological processes.

The study’s authors believe that as scientists around the world continue to sequence high-quality genomes from a variety of species, the origins of neurons and the evolution of other cell types will become increasingly understood.

Previous scientists to come It was concluded that the extinction of mammoths and other large game animals accelerated the evolution of primitive humans and forced them to invent more advanced hunting tools.

Source: Gazeta


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