Confused by the title, "Notes of Ranvier?" Thought this was a music blog? Well then here's a quick lesson in neuroscience that will hopefully make the title make more sense to you. First of all, Notes of Ranvier is a play on the phrase, Nodes of Ranvier. On a side-note, the title "Nodes of Ranvier" was (perhaps ironically) already taken on blogspot by a Christian metal/metalcore band from Sioux Falls. But anyway, Nodes of Ranvier are spaces between the fatty insulating sheaths (called myelin sheaths) around the axon of a neuron.
Still confused? A photo might help.
Here's a diagram of a typical neuron:
So those nodes are what allows you to think and react so quickly to stimuli. They generally come in handy in case you're suddenly face-to-face with a lion or a bear, or maybe your ex, and need to make a quick getaway.
That was my really quick-and-dirty explanation of cell signaling, but someday in the future I plan on writing a longer post on it explaining what an amazing thing the nervous system really is.
I also accept suggestions for things to write about! For the most part, my interests lie in biology, neuroscience, psychology, medicine, and well, you get the idea. But I'm open to any and all suggestions. If you have some burning question about science, or the history of science, let me know! I'd love to answer it if I can.