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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
A Nerve-Wracking Discovery
26 March 1999 6:00 pm
Today is the 88th 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).]