A protein that may partly explain why human brains are larger than those of other animals has been identified by scientists from two stem-cell labs at UC San Francisco, in research published in the November 13, 2014 issue of Nature.
Key experiments by the UCSF researchers revealed that the protein, called PDGFD, is made in growing brains of humans, but not in mice, and appears necessary for normal proliferation of human brain stem cells growing in a lab dish.
When it comes to the brain, "more is better" seems like an obvious assumption. But in the case of synapses, which are the connections between brain cells, too many or too few can both disrupt brain function.
The link between a protein typically associated with Alzheimer's disease and its impact on memory and cognition may not be as clear as once thought, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center. The findings are revealing more information about the earliest stages of the neurodegenerative disease.
“Aha” moments are rare in medical research, scientists say. As rare, they add, as finding mice with Mohawk-like hairstyles.
But both events happened in a lab at NYU Langone Medical Center, months after an international team of neuroscientists bred hundreds of mice with a suspect genetic mutation tied to autism spectrum disorders.
Almost all the grown mice, the NYU Langone team observed, had sideways,“overgroomed” hair with a highly stylized center hairline between their ears and hardly a tuft elsewhere. Mice typically groom each other’s hair.