Cellular and molecular neuroscience is one of the newest and fastest growing subdisciplines in neuroscience. By investigating the influences of genes, signaling molecules, and cellular morphology, researchers in this field uncover crucial insights into normal brain development and function, as well as the root causes of many pathological conditions.
This video introduction to the fascinating world of cellular and molecular neuroscience begins with a timeline of landmark studies, from the discovery of DNA in 1953 to more recent breakthroughs like the cloning of ion channels. Next, key questions in the field are introduced, such as how genes influence neuron activity and how the nervous system is modified by experience. This is followed by brief descriptions of some prominent methods used to analyze genetic material in neurons, manipulate expression of genes, and visualize neurons and their parts. Finally, several applications of molecular and cellular neuroscience are presented to demonstrate how cellular and molecular approaches can be used to profile neuron populations and explore their functions.