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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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A Nerve-Wracking Discovery
26 March 1997 7:00 pm
Today is the 86th birthday of Sir Bernard Katz, a German-born English physiologist who elucidated how nerve cells transmit signals. While it was known that neurons release acetylcholine at their terminal ends, Katz discovered while at University College, London, in the early 1950s that the release of this neurotransmitter occurs continuously and spontaneously, although at low levels when neurons are at rest. Moreover, he found that acetylcholine is released in discrete packets, later called vesicles.
In the late 1960s, Katz determined that the amount of acetylcholine in a vesicle was related to the electrical potential at the terminal of an axon--the long extension of a neuron that transmits the impulse. For these discoveries, Katz shared the 1970 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Julius Axelrod of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and Ulf von Euler of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
[Source: Emily McMurray, Ed., Notable Twentieth Century Scientists (Gale Research Inc., ITP, 1995).]