Week 4 – Neurotransmitters
The most interesting concept in the last week’s topic of neurotransmitters was the process of in-situ hybridization. Every nucleic acid has the property of binding tightly to one other nucleic acid, called its complementary acid. The location of the transmitter is determined by exploiting this property. The complementary of every nucleic acid in the mRNA molecule is synthesized and then applied to a section of the brain tissue. The neurons that the synthesized molecules get attached to contain the neurotransmitter that is assembled by getting instructions from the mRNA molecule, whose complementary was synthesized. This is quite an elegant solution to localizing the neurotransmitter.
I was looking at the slides of the lecture and got very interested in the last part of lecture, the one where the discussion was about the effect of opioids on societal bonding. It’s quite bizarre that what we believe to be individuality and mood swings and things like that are just due to the absence or excess of certain chemicals in the brain. How much of this can you or your surroundings control?
I liked the short videos that were a part of the last lecture, very informative.
As a non-biology student, the hardest parts of the course for me is the need to remember names of chemicals, parts and different facts. This is not a common requirement in my field of study, but I understand why this is required here.