The somatostatin cells had been so energetic, I wondered if indeed they could possibly be generating the inhibition of synapses, Urban-Ciecko said. To test her hypothesis, Urban-Ciecko considered optogenetics, a technique that handles neurons with light. She used light to result in an enzyme that deactivated and activated the somatostatin neuron. When the somatostatin cells were turned off, synapses grew strong and big. When the cells were turned on, the synapses became weaker and in a few full cases, disappeared entirely. You have inputs coming at you constantly, why do you remember one thing rather than the other? We think that somatostatin neurons could be gating whether synapses are utilized, and whether they could be transformed during some important event, to enable learning, said Barth, who is also an associate of the joint CMU/University of Pittsburgh Middle for the Neural Basis of Cognition .Zhang Zhenling, Sanlu’s vice president, apologized Monday but didn’t explain why the company took so long to inform the public about the contamination despite getting complaints as early as March and having assessments confirm the presence of the chemical in early August. The company went open public with the information after its New Zealand stakeholder informed the New Zealand government, which informed the Chinese federal government then. The serious safety accident of the Sanlu formula milk powder for infants has caused severe injury to many sickened babies and their families. We feel really sad about this, Zhang said, reading from a ready statement. Sanlu’s General Supervisor Tian Wenhua was fired and dismissed from the company’s board of directors due to the scandal, Xinhua quoted Communist Party officials as saying in the northern town of Shijiazhuang, where in fact the ongoing company is situated.