Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system and you can easily spot it with a low-powered telescope. Sitting behind Jupiter, the sixth planet is made mostly of gas, helium specifically. And despite its size, it would actually float in a giant tub of water. Unfortunately, this also means that visiting Saturn is impossible for humans because there is no “surface” to land on. You’d simply sink deeper and deeper into the gas blankets that make up this planet.
Chordates are animals that share similar physical features, including a notochord. This fantastic body part allows the brain to talk to the rest of the body. In humans, the notochord is a very well-developed bundle of nerve axons called the spinal cord. To protect it, we (and other animals) evolved bony armor. This armor couldn’t just be one single piece of bone, otherwise, how would we move about freely? Thirty-three individual bones make up the spinal column, protecting the spinal cord, and keeping us upright yet flexible.
What’s a larynx anyway? Most people know the larynx as the voice box, since it houses the muscles that make up your vocal cords; however, this organ does so much more than just help you make sounds. Everything from swallowing, breathing, and not choking can be attributed to the function and structure of the larynx.
For a long time in history, people associated the heart with love. Even today, on Valentine’s Day and, well, whenever we want to show love, we use a picture of a red heart. An anatomically incorrect one at that… But were the ancients right? Is the heart really the seat of love? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…
Astrocytes are star-shaped cells in the brain and spinal cord that play a role in many functions. Depending on where they are, they oversee things like gluconeogenesis, provide neurons with lactate, regulate ion concentration, repair the nervous system, and generally maintain homeostasis in the brain. Research has shown that disruption to astrocyte function contributes to worsening Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).