Wednesday, 14 March 2018 10:45

Global Excellence Seminar with Thomas Rainer Heimburg


A Global Excellence Seminar with Thomas Rainer Heimburg entitled "Sound propagation in nerves and the action of anesthetics".

It is a central paradigm in biology that excitatory events in cells are of purely electrical nature. The nervous impulse is attributed to the electrical activity of a class of proteins called voltage-gated ion channels.  However, it is widely unknown that during the nerve pulse also the temperature, the thickness and the length of nerves change, i.e., properties that do not manifest themselves on the molecular scale. Furthermore, in contrast to expectations one finds no dissipation of energy in experiments on nerves. Many properties of nerve pulses rather resemble those of sound or solitons, respectively. Solitons are sound-pulses that travel without changes in shape and without dissipation of energy. The electrical pulses in classical electrophysiology and electromechanical solitons differ largely in their physical implications. The description of solitary pulses requires the language of thermodynamics and hydrodynamics rather than that of electrical circuits. The framework presented here includes a straight-forward explanation for the effect of anesthetics, and also contain a mechanism for the occurrence of currents through channels.

Come and learn something new about axons and their conduction speed properties controlling the timing of brain network. 

The Global Excellence Seminar with Professor Thomas Rainer Heimburg from Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen will be held on Friday 16 March 2018 at 11 o'clock in the MR Conference Room.