Latest Ben Barres Stories

2013-08-14 11:54:45

The steady accumulation of a protein in healthy, aging brains may explain seniors' vulnerability to neurodegenerative disorders, a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine reports. The study's unexpected findings could fundamentally change the way scientists think about neurodegenerative disease. The pharmaceutical industry has spent billions of dollars on futile clinical trials directed at treating Alzheimer's disease by ridding brains of a substance...

2010-06-15 14:13:26

Antibodies "” warrior proteins the immune system makes to defend the body against invading pathogens such as viruses and bacteria "” have a gentler side nobody knew about until now: They function not only as soldiers but also as nurses. And researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine now think antibodies' absence in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) may be a key part of the reason why nerve damage there doesn't get naturally repaired in humans....

2010-03-11 00:50:00

STANFORD, Calif. -- About four out of every 10 cells in the brain are so-called oligodendrocytes. These cells produce the all-important myelin that coats nerve tracts, ensuring fast, energy-efficient transmission of nerve impulses. Mixed among them are proliferating but not particularly proficient precursor cells that are destined to become oligodendrocytes when needed but, for now, remain suspended in an immature, relatively undifferentiated state somewhere between stem cell and adult...

2009-10-09 09:15:33

Questions raised about use of antiseizure drug Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a key molecular player in guiding the formation of synapses "” the all-important connections between nerve cells "” in the brain. This discovery, based on experiments in cell culture and in mice, could advance scientists' understanding of how young children's brains develop as well as point to new approaches toward countering brain disorders in adults. The new...

Word of the Day
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'