Researchers at the University of Virginia's Center for Brain Immunology and Glia have identified vessels which directly connect the brain with the immune system--revolutionizing what we know about the relationship of the central nervous system and the immune system. What's more, these vessels weren't thought to exist.
The human body, thought by so many to be so thoroughly mapped, is still revealing its secrets. It's a great reminder to not rely so comfortably on what we "know" about the workings of the amazingly complex entity that we term the human being. It's also a particularly exciting time to keep tabs on the research going on in the field of neuroscience. This new discovery opens the door to inquiries that might help us better understand and treat conditions spanning from Autism to Alzheimer's. Just this week a paper (from UVA as well) was published examining the relationship of the immune system and social behavior.