junk up for survival - you can live simply, but your DNA junk up for survival
Volume 563 Issue 7729, 1 November 2018
Two papers in this week’s issue examine the remarkable diversity found among neurons in the brain. Bosiljka Tasic and her colleagues used deep, single-cell RNA-sequencing on 23,822 cells from across the visual and motor cortices in mice to reveal 133 cell types based on gene-expression profiles. They found that nearly all types of inhibitory neurons were shared across the two regions, whereas most types of excitatory neurons were area-specific. In related work, Karel Svoboda, Michael Economo and their colleagues demonstrate that several of these cell types, those corresponding to pyramidal tract neurons (pictured) — a particular subpopulation of excitatory neurons — differ in other ways beyond gene expression. They showed that different pyramidal tract cell types each connect to a unique set of brain regions and communicate specific signals involved in the preparation and initiation of motion, respectively. Together, these studies demonstrate the power of such data sets to reveal the intricate details of neuronal function.
Cover image: Michael Economo/Jayaram Chandrashekar
Species richness was found to increase temporal stability but decrease resistance to warming in an experiment involving 690 micro-ecosystems consisting of 1 to 6 species of bacterivorous ciliates that were sampled over 40 days.
Single-cell transcriptomics of more than 20,000 cells from two functionally distinct areas of the mouse neocortex identifies 133 transcriptomic types, and provides a foundation for understanding the diversity of cortical cell types.
Transcriptional profiling and axonal reconstructions identify two types of pyramidal tract neuron in the motor cortex: one type projects to thalamic regions and produces early and persistent preparatory activity, and the other type projects to motor centres in the medulla and produces motor commands.