Cell smasher

We’re all pretty familiar with what happens when we sustain a knock on the head: First, the all-too-audible crack, accompanied perhaps by a moment of surprise. Then, the swelling and, if we’re lucky, just a minor bump or scrape. But what happens on the other side of our skulls when we hit our heads? If we can bruise, scrape and cut the relatively tough tissue of our skin and muscle with an impact, what happens to the cells that comprise the spongy, gelatinous matter of our brains? That question is on the minds of UC Santa Barbara researchers Kimberly Turner, Megan Valentine, Adele Doyle and industrial partner Owl Biomedical, as they investigate — on the cellular level — what happens when mechanical forces are applied to brain cells. With funding…


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