No brain no gain (NBE-E4210, week 2)

Week 2

This week we learned a lot more about the structure and function of the neuronal membrane, action potential and its regulation. As I mentioned in the last blog post, all of us did our bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and minored in bioinformation technology so most of the basic information about the membrane was already familiar. However, we found the recap beneficial since it’s been a while since we have studied that topic. We remembered that the potential is regulated using the ion pumps of the membrane but none of us remembered exactly how many potassium -and kalium ions an ion pump can transfer through the membrane at once.

The topics of protein structure and amino acids were already fresh in our minds since it is talked about in many of the courses in chemical engineering. Especially, for one of us who majored in bioproducts. However, some recap and recollection never really go to waste. The consistency, structure and synthesis of proteins are essential biological concepts, so it is good to make sure everyone is on track with these. The course book supports the lectures well (for example protein synthesis).

The electrical physics and the practical methods used to measure the action potential of a neuron were really fascinating. It is nice to learn about real practicalities since neuroscience can occasionally feel a bit abstract because of its complexity.

The exercise session was helpful, and the exercises seem reasonably easy to complete. The information should be quite easily available in the lecture slides, course book and internet. Luckily, the topic of the question 4 was taught in a previous course. Looking forward to next week!