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Latest Neural development Stories

2011-12-14 14:46:00

KIT Biologists Supply Major Results for Understanding the Thalamus, the “Relay Center” of the Brain The thalamus is the central translator in the brain: Specialized nerve cells (neurons) receive information from the sensory organs, process it, and transmit it deep into the brain. Researchers from the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG) of KIT have now identified the genetic factors Lhx2 and Lhx9 responsible for the development of these neurons. Their results contribute...

Researchers Turn Embryonic Stem Cells Into Functioning Neurons
2011-11-22 06:26:29

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin have successfully had implanted neurons, created in laboratory conditions, connect with the brains of mice and both send and receive signals. In research published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), lead author Jason P. Weick and associates Yan Liu and Su-Chun Zhang describe how they were able to take blank slate human embryonic stem cells (hESC), turn them into neurons, implant them into the brains of...

2011-11-17 10:57:59

Significant progress has been made in understanding the genetic risk factors underlying psychiatric disease. Recent studies have identified common genetic mutations conferring modest risk and rare variants comprising significant risk. One example of a rare cause of psychiatric disorders is the Disrupted in Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) gene, first identified in a large Scottish pedigree displaying schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. Common variants in DISC1 have been associated with...

2011-11-17 03:38:45

Like a gardener who stakes some plants and weeds out others, the brain is constantly building networks of synapses, while pruning out redundant or unneeded synapses. Researchers at The Jackson Laboratory led by Assistant Professor Zhong-wei Zhang, Ph.D., have discovered a factor in synapse-building, also showing that the building and pruning processes occur independent of each other. Mammals are born with functioning but not-yet-developed brains. After birth, external stimuli and internal...

2011-07-28 00:56:17

New research may help to explain why the location of postnatal neural stem cells in the brain determines the type of new neurons that are generated. The research, published by Cell Press in the July 28 issue of the journal Neuron, demonstrates that a signaling pathway which plays a key role in development also actively regulates the fate of neural stem cells in the adult brain. Manipulation of this signaling pathway redirected the fate of adult stem cells, a finding that may impact the design...

2011-07-22 01:38:05

Specialist cells prune connections between neurons Gardeners know that some trees require regular pruning: some of their branches have to be cut so that others can grow stronger. The same is true of the developing brain: cells called microglia prune the connections between neurons, shaping how the brain is wired, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy, discovered. Published online today in Science, the findings could one day help understand...

2011-07-20 17:01:08

Dr. Ed Ruthazer is a mapmaker but, his landscape is the developing brain - specifically the neuronal circuitry, which is the network of connections between nerve cells. His research at The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital "“ The Neuro at McGill University, reveals the brain as a dynamic landscape where connections between nerves are plastic, changing and adapting to the demands of the environment. Dr. Ruthazer is the winner of the inaugural Young Investigator Award from the...

2011-06-22 22:36:25

The precise wiring of our visual system depends upon the pattern of spontaneous activity within the brain that occurs well before birth, a new study by Yale researchers shows. "It isn't just the genes. What happens within the womb is crucial," said Michael Crair, the William Ziegler III Associate Professor of Vision Research at Yale School of Medicine and senior author of the study published in the June 23 issue of Neuron. The extent of the roles of nature and nurture in the development of...

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2011-04-15 08:31:09

By Danielle J. Whittaker, BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University Researchers are decoding the patterns that connect different types of nerve cells Though the brain may seem impossibly complex, it can be understood as a network, much like computer chips or the Internet. A new analysis in the journal PLoS ONE has described the workings of a worm's nervous system as patterns involving the connections among nerve cells with different functions. Unlike the...

2011-04-13 21:38:10

Model of Rett syndrome suggests a deficit in processing cues from the environment Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder on the autism spectrum, is marked by relatively normal development in infancy followed by a loss of loss of cognitive, social and language skills starting at 12 to 18 months of age. It is increasingly seen as a disorder of synapses, the connections between neurons that together form brain circuits. What hasn't been clear is why children start out developing normally,...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'