The Dark Matter of the Human Brain

Mysterious cells in your brain, known as glia, outnumber your neurons 10 to 1, and nobody knows what they do.

Some of the common words we use are frozen mistakes. The term influenza comes from the Italian word meaning “influence”—an allusion to the influence the stars were once believed to have on our health. European explorers searching for an alternate route to India ended up in the New World and uncomprehendingly dubbed its inhabitants Indios, or Indians. Neuroscientists have a frozen mistake of their own, and it is a spectacular blunder. In the mid-1800s researchers discovered cell...

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