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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: A Complex Brain Inside a Very Big Skull
19 November 2010 10:52 am
Elephants are famous for having a good memory, but they also have complex communication skills and rich social lives. Unfortunately, scientists know virtually nothing about the 5-kilogram brain responsible for these talents. This week, in a presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and in a paper in Brain Structure and Function, scientists present the first microscopic study of neurons in the cerebral cortex of the African elephant. The cortex is the thin layer of cells on the surface of the brain that governs many functions, and in elephants it contains a greater variety of cell types (such as the extensively branched neuron pictured above) than is found in more frequently studied animals such as rodents and primates. How this complexity contributes to an elephant's smarts isn't known, but the authors say their findings suggest that evolution has found multiple ways to build a complex brain—and an intelligent beast.
See more ScienceShots.