"Have you no consideration for my poor nerves?"
"You mistake me, my dear. I have the utmost respect for your nerves. They've been my constant companion these twenty years."
"Our simple view that 'more nerves' is sufficient to explain 'more brain power' is simply not supported by our study," explained Professor Seth Grant, Head of the Genes to Cognition Programme at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. As leaden-footed scientists do he confirmed the observations of quicksilver pragmatics expert Jane Austen some two centuries earlier that 'nerves' are not indicative of brain power.
Research published in Nature Neuroscience suggests that it is not size alone, or nerves, that count. "We found dramatic differences in the numbers of proteins in the synapses between different species. We studied around 600 proteins that are found in mammalian synapses and were surprised to find that only 50 percent of these are also found in invertebrate (creatures without a backbone..., [isn't that a little hard? Ed.]) synapses, and about 25 percent are in single-cell animals [or Prime Ministers, as we refer to them currently, Ed.] which obviously don't have a brain." Nerves yes, though, just look at those finger nails and nose habits.
'The origins of thinking lie in feeling [Yes! Ed.]: some of the proteins involved in synapse signalling and learning and memory are found in yeast, where they act to respond to signals from their environment, such as stress due to limited food or temperature change.' "It is amazing how a process of Darwinian evolution by tinkering and improvement has generated, from a collection of sensory proteins in yeast, the complex synapse of mammals associated with learning and cognition," added Dr Richard Emes, Lecturer in Bioinformatics at Keele University.
Pity about the single cell, invertebrate bundles of nerves; lack of back bone and no feelings.
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