Specific brain protein required for nerve cell connections to form and functionSarah Palin mocked research done on fruit flies and made fun of it.
CHAPEL HILL - Neurons, or nerve cells, communicate with each other through contact points called synapses. When these connections are damaged, communication breaks down, causing the messages that would normally help our feet push our bike pedals or our mind locate our car keys to fall short.
Now scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for these nerve cell connections to form and function correctly.
The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism.
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