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Despite increasing efforts to solve the puzzle that is the workings of the human brain, scientists’ current understanding of the brain’s functional interconnections remains limited. As the most complex organ in the human body, the brain is an immense network of neuronal cells capable of sending signals to receptors in the rest of the body. These signals begin as chemical changes, such as rapid variations in ion concentration through sodium and potassium (Na+/K+) ion channels in the neuronal cell membranes, which in turn result in electrical potential changes across the plasma membrane (Figure 1a)1,2.
Cadmium sulfide quantum dots. Courtesy of iStock.com/OlgaReukova.
Notwithstanding the enormous number of cells…