They were surprised to see astrocytes flicker on and off at much higher rates in transgenic mice with an abundance of plaques than in plaque-free pets. The plaque-linked astrocyte activity appeared to be synchronized and exceeded to distant regions of the brain in a wave-like fashion. Another imaging technology uncovered that resting calcium levels were elevated throughout the astrocyte network of pets with plaques however, not in normal mice. Blocking the experience of neurons did not reduce astrocyte activity, indicating that amyloid’s known impact on neuronal activity was not responsible for its apparent effects on astrocytes.Related StoriesCrucial transformation in single DNA bottom predisposes children to intense form of cancerUtah chemists devise fresh way to identify DNA damageDNA testing for Down's syndrome could potentially conserve lives of unborn babies The top of the project Alfred P-hler views this research as a milestone in the task at CeBiTec: 'The decoding of the hamster genome successfully concludes a major CeBiTec project. The hamster sequence is available in the open public domain and can be used for research throughout the world.' The project significantly enhances the position of Bielefeld as a basis for current research on the cell cultures of the Chinese hamster, says P-hler. An additional project has already been agreed with the University of Natural Resources and Lifestyle Sciences in Vienna and the Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology.