Monday, February 13, 2012

Growing a brain

It was exciting to read this story in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, about scientists who can convince cast-off skin cells to turn into brain cells. I'm not exactly clear on whether they have grown actual human neurons in the lab from this process, or just the progenitor cells that might turn into neurons later, but the overall positive message seems to be that it may, in future, be possible to transplant stem cells from the patients own tissue into failing brains and thus counteract the degenerative processes of Alzheimer's and age. The full paper is published in Nature Neuroscience, although you need a subscription to read more than the précis.

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