Astrocytes (purple) and neurons (green) in the visual cortex of a ferret. The cells contain dyes that allow researchers to track calcium levels. When neurons are active, astrocytes respond with increased calcium, which leads nearby capillaries to increase blood flow. This is a previously undiscovered role for astrocytes, once thought to only act as support cells for neurons.
Credit: James Schummers and Hongbo Yu, Laboratory of Mriganka Sur, MIT.
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