One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounmass nounPhysiology Anatomy
A mixture of proteins and phospholipids forming a whitish insulating sheath around many nerve fibres, which increases the speed at which impulses are conducted.
- ‘They travel to the brain and mount an assault on a substance called myelin, which acts as a protective sheath around nerve fibers.’
- ‘For example, multiple sclerosis involves the progressive destruction of the myelin that insulates neural axons.’
- ‘The neurologic symptoms are a result of destruction of myelin, though axons may also be affected.’
- ‘It turns out that the bacterium that causes leprosy directly damages a protective sheathing, made of the protein myelin, around many nerve cells.’
- ‘They then manipulated them in the laboratory to turn them into specialised cells that form myelin, the insulating layer than surrounds nerve fibres.’
Late 19th century: from Greek muelos ‘marrow’ + -in.
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