Search Results for: anesthesia

Pathways: The Anesthesia Issue

Cover of Pathways student magazine. NIGMS and Scholastic bring you Pathways: The Anesthesia Issue, which explores pain and the science behind anesthesia—the medical treatment that prevents patients from feeling pain during surgery and other procedures. Without anesthesia, many life-saving medical procedures would be impossible. Pathways, designed for students in grades 6 through 12, aims to …

Anesthesia and Brain Cells: A Temporary Disruption?

Hippocampal neuron in culture. Dendrites are green, dendritic spines are red, and DNA in cell’s nucleus is blue. Credit: Shelley Halpain, University of California, San Diego. Anesthetic drugs are vital to modern medicine, allowing patients to undergo even the longest and most invasive surgeries without consciousness or pain. Unfortunately, studies have raised the concern that …

Science Snippet: Get to Know Your Nerve Cells!

Nerve cells, also known as neurons, carry information through our bodies using electrical impulses and chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. A nerve cell’s size and shape depend on its role and location, but nearly all nerve cells have three main parts: Dendrites that extend like branches and receive signals A cell body containing the nucleus that …

Science Snippet: Brush Up on Biofilms

A biofilm is a highly organized community of microorganisms that develops naturally on certain surfaces. Typically, biofilms are made up of microbes and an extracellular matrix that they produce. This matrix can include polysaccharides (chains of sugars), proteins, lipids, DNA, and other molecules. The matrix gives the biofilm structure and helps it stick to a …

Biology Beyond the Lab: Using Computers to Study Life

“You’re not going to be able to do biology without understanding programming in the future,” Melissa Wilson, Ph.D., an associate professor of genomics, evolution, and bioinformatics at Arizona State University, said in her 2019 NIGMS Early Career Investigator Lecture. “You don’t have to be an expert programmer. But without understanding programming, I can assert you …

Demystifying General Anesthetics

When Margaret Sedensky, now of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, started as an anesthesiology resident, she wasn’t entirely clear on how anesthetics worked. “I didn’t know, but I figured someone did,” she says. “I asked the senior resident. I asked the attending. I asked the chair. Nobody knew.” For many years, doctors called general anesthetics a …