Scientists get one step closer to finding how to repair damaged nerve cells

A team of researchers at the IRCM led by Frédéric Charron, PhD, in collaboration with bioengineers at McGill University, uncovered a new kind of synergy in the development of the nervous system, which explains an important mechanism required for neural circuits to form properly. Their breakthrough, published today in the scientific journal PLoS Biology, could eventually help develop tools to repair nerve cells following injuries to the nervous system (such as the brain and spinal cord).

Researchers in Dr. Charron’s laboratory study neurons, the nerve cells that make up the central nervous system, as well as their long extensions known as axons. During development, axons must follow specific paths in the nervous system in order to properly form neural circuits and allow neurons to communicate with one another. IRCM researchers are studying a process called axon guidance to better understand how axons manage to follow the correct paths.

“To reach their target, growing axons rely on molecules known as guidance cues, which instruct them on which direction to take by repelling or attracting them to their destination,” explains Dr. Charron, Director of the Molecular Biology of Neural Development research unit at the IRCM.

Over the past few decades, the scientific community has struggled to understand why more than one guidance cue would be necessary for axons to reach the proper target. In this paper, IRCM scientists uncovered how axons use information from multiple guidance cues to make their pathfinding decisions. To do so, they studied the relative change in concentration of guidance cues in the neuron’s environment, which is referred to as the steepness of the gradient.

“We found that the steepness of the gradient is a critical factor for axon guidance; the steeper the gradient, the better the axons respond to guidance cues,” says Tyler F.W. Sloan, PhD student in Dr. Charron’s laboratory and first author of the study. “In addition, we showed that the gradient of one guidance cue may not be steep enough to orient axons. In those instances, we revealed that a combination of guidance cues can behave in synergy with one another to help the axon interpret the gradient’s direction.”

In collaboration with the Program in Neuroengineering at McGill University, Dr. Charron’s team developed an innovative technique to recreate the concentration gradients of guidance cues in vitro, that is to say they can study the developing axons outside their biological context.

“This new method provides us with several benefits when compared to previous techniques, and allows us to simulate more realistic conditions encountered in developing embryos, conduct longer-term experiments to observe the entire process of axon guidance, and obtain extremely useful quantitative data,” adds Sloan. “It combines knowledge from the field of microfluidics, which uses fluids at a microscopic scale to miniaturize biological experiments, with the cellular, biological and molecular studies we conduct in laboratories.”

“This is true multidisciplinary work, and an excellent example of what the Program in Neuroengineering aims to accomplish in situations where neurobiologists like myself have a specific question they want to address, but the current tools aren’t adapted to answer their question,” mentions Dr. Charron. “Thus, thanks to this unique program, we teamed up with McGill’s bioengineers and microfluidic and mathematical modelling experts to create the device required for our study.”

“This scientific breakthrough could bring us closer to repairing damaged nerve cells following injuries to the central nervous system,” states Dr. Charron. “A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in axon guidance will offer new possibilities for developing techniques to treat lesions resulting from spinal cord injuries, and possibly even neurodegenerative diseases.”

Injuries to the central nervous system affect thousands of Canadians every year and can lead to lifelong disabilities. Most often caused by an accident, stroke or disease, these injuries are currently very difficult to repair. Research is therefore required for the development of new tools to repair damage to the central nervous system.

School wind ensemble April 1st joke: One of the pieces we’re playing starts out with the melody played on unison Bb clarinets only. My friend and I brought our A clarinets and told the other Bb clarinetists to fake the first phrase. Nobody suspected anything since we were right in tune with each other… until the saxophones entered in (the correct) Eb major on top of our D major. Our conductor stopped the band, glared *at the saxophones*, and asked “What’s going on, guys?” The whole clarinet section lost it.

Thank you @therealtank. Respect is sparse these days. And that’s actually quite terrifying. In this age of social media, people feel as if they can say what they choose to without there being consequences. The next time you fix your mouth to mention Aaliyah….ask yourself these questions first and foremost. 

Is it respectful? How would it make her mother feel? Her brother? What about her friends? How would it make YOUR mother feel if the shoe were on the other foot? If you were robbed of reaching your full potential and then 14 years later, someone wants to downplay the things you DID achieve in your short life? How does it benefit you? An opinion is an opinion and yes we all have them…but where is morale and decency these days? Why even speak on matters if you don’t have the correct words together? You shouldn’t. Where is your media training? Why did your PR team think it ok to throw you in the deep end and just hope for the best? Were you banking on the controversy? And if you REALLY felt that way, why even use Aaliyah’s vocals to begin with? Because you respect her as an artist? Or because you want to benefit from the supposed “hype”? 

Let’s not be insensitive and ignorant to the people Aaliyah left behind. Aaliyah is more than just her death. Please don’t discredit this woman. Or us as fans. She achieved more in her career than most do in their entire lives. There are millions of people, who’ve been around WAY before her passing, that can attest to that. Myself included. We’ve BEEN here. And we’re not going anywhere. 

Be kind and respectful. Aaliyah was only 22 years old. 22. Aaliyah earned all the praise that’s she’s received over the years. She DESERVES that praise. Who is anyone to say otherwise? 

Be mindful of your words as there are a lot of people left behind who are still hurting. She wasn’t just Aaliyah the superstar with multiplatinum albums under her belt, 7 inked movie deals and countless upcoming award show performances/appearances, she was Aaliyah the daughter, the sister, the friend. She was someone’s flesh and blood. Someones best friend. Let’s not forget that ❤️ 


Chloe had a Freudian slip around 0:24. When asked about Dance Moms (WHY would you ask her anything about Dance Moms?) she slipped and said, “It wasn’t a great experience—” Then she stopped halfway and quickly corrected herself.

“This fucking stings like hell.” Lola complained to herself as she looked down at her messed up hand. Her knuckles were covered in deep red blood, as was the wall she had she just hit. She groaned and punched it again, before letting go and resting both hands against the wall, breathing deeply.

So basically, whenever I see a post that I think may come in handy sometime I like it, and it’s gotten to a point where I’ve liked so many things that it’s become impossible to find anything in there. So this is a compilation of posts, websites, images etc that may be useful. Where it’s posts they aren’t usually the original posts so apologies, but credit where credits due.


Health and beauty:

Feel good about yourself:



Fun things:


Other masterlists:

I think there are days where you just have to accept that there are certain things you should not tolerate. I will not accept half-assed friendships nor will I invite that into my space. If you are a self-proclaimed “close” friend of mine who is aware that I am going through a difficult time, I should not have to continuously prompt you into supporting me. I should not have to continuously correct your disrespectful and selfish behavior. And I damn sure shouldn’t have to be expending my little supply of energy for the very same things I will not receive in return. Unacceptable. 

Mumia Abu-Jamal was rushed to the hospital Monday, March 30 after passing out at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Mahanoy. At admission, he was diagnosed with diabetic shock, with an extremely dangerous blood sugar level of 779 (for reference: coma can set in at 800). By Tuesday, March 31, afternoon, it was down to 333, still in the danger zone.

He was disappeared and denied all visits for 20 hours (or even the knowledge that his family was outside), while shackled to his bed (and remains shackled). Family members were given NO information, not even told he was at the hospital – they found out on their own.


Tuesday, March 31: Thanks to the deluge of calls to Pa. prison officials demanding that Mumia’s family be allowed to visit him, his wife Wadiya and brother Keith Cook were granted 30-minute hospital visits on Tuesday (March 31) morning. They reported that he was coherent, alert, and eating heartily, but weak. But there’s no guarantee as to when and how often they can return, nor when his lawyer can see him.

Wednesday, April 1: Mumia’s youngest brother Bill Cook and his oldest son Jamal Hart have been able to visit him today for 30 minutes each. As of today, a new prison rule is going to prevent his wife Wadiya and his brother Keith from visiting again for an entire week. The new rule states that only one visit per week per immediate family member will be allowed. This also means that there will be many times when we will not have any contact with Mumia during this critical week. Please do continue calling the prison and medical center to demand that Wadiya and Keith can visit Mumia again this week!

anonymous asked:

what do you think of that iconograph the one explaining how Islamophobia isn't racism because islam is an idea? technically it is correct because an ideology cant be criticized on the basis of race which would mean that islamophobia is acceptable

I feel ya, but to say that race is not at all associated with Islamophobia is what concerns me. By dictionary definition, yes Islamophobia is the fear of an ideology, but 

1. Are Islamophobes’ criticism limited simply to ideology? OR does it affect people who practice Islam? 

2. And the people who practice Islam, who are they perceived to be? Anyone on this Earth could be Muslim, but what is the perceived appearance of a Muslim? 

The reason I hesitate to define Islamophobia ONLY as the criticism of Islam is because attacks on the basis of “Islamophobia” affect brown men and women at the highest degree. People who are not even Muslim but perceived as such either by attire or ethnicity are attacked for “being Muslim”. Sikh men were attacked routinely post 9/11 on the basis of Islamophobia, but were neither Muslim or tied to Islam in anyway—so what was it about them that they were attacked for? 

Islamophobia has criminalized the brown body, people are racially discriminated against on the basis of their perceived association with Islam. I made another post about it here (x)

As a definition, Islamophobia is not racism by any means, but in practice, Islamophobia can lead to racially charged persecution on false means. Would you agree? 

anonymous asked:

I know it says no prompts, but your post made me think of this one: Dean reads destiel FanFiction and he corrects the writers, saying "It's Cas not Cass."

This was all Sam’s fault. Ever since the stupid Supernatural Musical, Dean’s curiosity of ‘fanfiction’ and ‘subtext’ has gotten the better of him. It started out with a few fics in a week. Spread out loosely between hunts. When he searched what ‘tags’ were, he sought out to find only fluff and refused to look at smut. 

The stories were wellwritten, they were strung together with uncanny likeliness to the the real people. He bypassed the ones that shown John in a bad light, he read all that he could find where Mary was alive and Sam and Jess were happy. In some of them, he found peace. To read and hear his mother’s word in his head brought a smile to his face. If only he could thank the writers and send them a message, but he would just look like a LARPing weirdo. Instead he bookmarked the good ones and kept reading.

What got him the most was how happy he and Cas were in these stories. It was unreal to read of Cas smiling so much, of fictional Dean being a hero in the eyes of someone who took the effort to write it out. With ever fanfiction he read, he reflected on the events that the two had overcome together. Piece by piece, he fell in love with the idea of loving Castiel. By the end of the month, he was hopelessly in love.

They were seated at the bunker table when Cas had stopped by and was talking aimlessly to Sam about something or other. Dean had his nose pressed against his laptop screen (he got his own when he didn’t want Sam to see his bookmarked fanfiction) and barely paid any mind to them. It was getting harder to act normal around Cas, but the angel didn’t seem to mind Dean being awkward and fidgety around him.

“For fuck’s sake!” Dean screamed and slammed the laptop screen shut.

“What?!” Sam startled and stared at his brother with pure concern.

“It’s Cas. Like with one ‘s’. Where in the world did the other ‘s’ come from? Out of his ass? It’s Castiel, not Casssssstiel.” Dean shook his head and sulked before he realized that he had said that out loud.

“What?” Cas tilted his head and squinted. 

Sam tried to contain a laugh in the back of his throat but it burst when he screamed, “DESTIEL!”