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Latest Neural development Stories

2010-08-18 13:41:32

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists identify a novel feedback mechanism that regulates differentiation of adult neural stem cells St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators showed a gene named Prox1 is a key player in normal development of a brain structure crucial for learning and memory and remains active throughout life, nurturing the cells vital for making new memories. This study focused on a small region of the hippocampus known as the dentate gyrus, a brain...

2010-07-20 14:06:49

The brain undergoes rapid growth and development in the early years of life and then degenerates as we progress into old age, yet little is known about the biological processes that distinguish brain development and aging. In a report published online today in Genome Research (http://www.genome.org), researchers have identified a gene regulatory link between changes in the young and aging brain, describing "runaway" development as a potentially significant factor in age-related loss of...

2010-07-15 02:43:36

Scientists are making progress towards a better understanding of the neuropathology associated with debilitating psychiatric illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. New research, published by Cell Press in the July 15 issue of the journal Neuron, reveals mechanisms that connect a known psychiatric risk gene to disruptions in brain cell proliferation and migration during development. A research group led by Dr. Li-Huei Tsai from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had recently...

2010-07-07 16:55:11

Molecular research shows misoprostol prevents cell communication A York University study has shown for the first time how the drug misoprostol, which has been linked to neurodevelopmental defects associated with autism, interferes with neuronal cell function. It is an important finding because misoprostol is similar in structure to naturally-occurring prostaglandins, which are the key signaling molecules produced by fatty acids in the brain. Past clinical studies have shown an association...

2010-07-02 19:39:46

With more than 100 billion neurons and billions of other specialized cells, the human brain is a marvel of nature. It is the organ that makes people unique. Now, writing in the journal Cell Stem Cell (July 1, 2010), a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified a single gene that seems to be a master regulator of human brain development, guiding undifferentiated stem cells down tightly defined pathways to becoming all of the many types of cells that make up the...

2010-06-25 15:55:26

Jan-Ó¦ke Gustafsson investigates 'wireless connections' in the brain Many diseases of brain function, such as epilepsy and schizophrenia, are caused by problems in how neurons communicate with each other. A University of Houston (UH) researcher and his team are analyzing these commands and connections in an attempt to prevent those diseases. Dr. Jan-Ó¦ke Gustafsson, Robert A. Welch Professor in UH's biology and biochemistry department,...

2010-06-23 00:58:05

Effective brain function depends on the efficient signaling from one neuron to the next, a lightning-fast process that depends on a quick release of neurotransmitters at synapses. Exposure to lead during early childhood and even later in life has long been known to affect the release of these critical neurotransmitters. However, the precise mechanism by which lead ions (Pb2+) impair this process has remained unknown. A new study led by Tomás Guilarte, PhD, chair of Environmental Health...

2010-05-25 09:07:01

UCSF scientists have discovered a new stem cell in the developing human brain. The cell produces nerve cells that help form the neocortex "“ the site of higher cognitive function"”and likely accounts for the dramatic expansion of the region in the lineages that lead to man, the researchers say. Future studies of these cells are expected to shed light on developmental diseases such as autism and schizophrenia and malformations of brain development, including microcephaly,...

2010-05-15 13:36:17

Mechanism found that prepares the brain of a newborn for information processing With their French colleagues, researchers at the University of Helsinki have found a mechanism in the memory centre of newborn that adjusts the maturation of the brain for the information processing required later in life. The study was published this week in an American science magazine The Journal of Neuroscience. The brain cells in the brain of a newborn are still quite loosely interconnected. In the middle of...

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2010-05-12 14:45:00

Findings could shed light on the evolution of human head size In work that may one day correct or prevent genetic conditions tied to smaller-than-normal brains and shed light on the evolution of human head size, researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory analyzed the interaction of two proteins key to brain development. Neurogenesis is the process through which neurons are created during prenatal development to populate the growing brain. Li-Huei Tsai, director of the...


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.'