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publicado em 18/02/2012 às 15h00:00
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Human brain has 14 billion less neurons than previously thought

According to research from UFRJ difference reflects the ability of the brain of a baboon or a gorilla through the brain

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Eighty-six billion. This is the number of neurons in the human brain has. The statement comes from researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), who found evidence that humans have 14 billion neurons less than previously thought. In 1988, Karl Herrup, Rutgers University, United States, proposed that the population of neurons in the brain would be 100 billion.

"Some say the difference is small, but I disagree," argues neuroscientist Susan Houzel Herculaneum, head of the Laboratory of Comparative Neuroanatomy of ICB-UFRJ. "It corresponds to the brain through a baboon brain or gorilla, primate evolutionarily closer to humans."

New technique <b> </ b>

The technique deployed for the achievement of discovery - <i> able to break up the brain cells to tell <i/> - was created by the researchers themselves, who could know more precisely something already known previously thought: there are as many neurons in the brain and other organs of the brain, which are housed in the skull.

Last year, the head of the laboratory of UFRJ, Roberto Lent the doctor considered that the data generated by your group and Suzana were already consistent enough to be consolidated into a more direct criticism. Three researchers in his lab, he

wrote a review published in January in the European Journal of Neuroscience

which states that at least four basic concepts of neuroscience need to be


The research has also more safely say that these neurons are accompanied by 85 billion glial cells, another cell type that makes up the brain. A figure well below the trillion announced before.

In the animal study, the researchers increased the projection for primate species that make up the superfamily of hominids and calculated that Neanderthals - the species that

closest to the human (Homo sapiens) in terms of number of neurons -

may have had about 100 billion neurons. Homo neanderthalensis lived from 300

thousand to 30 thousand years ago the region in what is now Europe.

It is expected that most intriguing findings arise as to diffuse the Brazilian technique. "If widely used, it can simplify the tedious process of counting

brain cells, "says Herrup. more hours may be spared if the version

turbo skimmer is as efficient as expected.

Check below <b> scientific articles related to the discovery </ b>

How many neurons do you have? Some dogmas of quantitative neuroscience under revision. European Journal of Neuroscience.

Isotropic fractionator: a simple, rapid method for the quantification of total cell and neurons in the brain. Journal of Neuroscience.

Números em revisão Recontagem de neurônios põe em xeque ideias da neurociência

   Palavras-chave:   Neuron    Brain    Neuroscience    Federal University of Rio de Janeiro    UFRJ    Karl Herrup   
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