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Santiago Ramon y Cajal’s graceful drawing of neurons.
Courtesy of the Cajal Institute and the Spanish National Research Council
Santiago Ramon y Cajal’s graceful drawing of neurons.

[Rerun] All cells in the body are electrical

All life and living cells are electric. We humans use approximately one third of the body's energy consumption to maintain the electrical voltages in the cells. All our senses are based on electricity, our brain and all the neurons are electric.

Now researchers are beginning to find new aspects of the body's electrical signals. Among other things, when it comes to nerve signals, the traditional theory of how a nerve signal is transported in the nerve cells is challenged by a new theory. Two leading research groups, both with addresses on Blegdamsvej in Copenhagen, strongly disagree.

One group led by Neuroscientist Rune Berg from the Panum Institute defends the current explanation for a nerve signal. The new explanation of how a nerve signal becomes widespread when you thrust your toe into a chair until you say "Ouch!" it is presented by Professor Thomas Heimburg from the Niels Bohr Institute.

In this podcast science journalist Jens Degett interviews Rune Berg (in Danish). In second program of this series, Thomas Heimburg will present his explanation of nerve signals.

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Learn more about the exquisite drawing of nerve cells by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the founder of modern neuroscience, in these articles: 

This podcast was produced with support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.