4. Meet the astrocyte

If you look at a tulip, you wouldn’t think it was an armadillo. Similarly, looking at a neuron, you wouldn’t think it was glia. But you might look at a whale and think it’s a fish, until you look at it closely and realize it has no gills and breathes through lungs. Then, you have a problem. Through genetic testing and excavations by paleontologists, we now know it likely originated as a land animal that took back to the sea and is related to hoofed animals like the horse. But before genetic testing and evolutionary biology, classification was based on appearance. This remains true for cellular classification.

Glial cells include Schwann cells, Müller cells, epithelial cells, ependymal cells, oligodendricytes, tanycytes, ...

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