Neurons result from a highly complex and unique series of cell divisions. For example, in fruit flies, the process starts with stem cells that divide into mother cells (progenitor cells), that then divide into precursor cells that eventually become neurons.
A team of the University of Michigan (U-M), spearheaded by Nigel Michki, a graduate student, and Assistant Professor Dawen Cai in the departments of Biophysics (LS&A) and Cell and Developmental Biology at the Medical School, identified many genes that are important in fruit flies’ neuron development, and that had never been described before in that context.
Since many genes are conserved across species such as between fruit flies (Drosophila), mice, and humans, what is learnt in flies can also serve as a model to better understand other species, including humans. [Read more…] about Scientists identify many genes involved in neuron development
- 32To understand our brains, scientists need to know their components. This theme underlies a growing effort in neuroscience to define the different building blocks of the brain – its cells. With the mouse's 80 million neurons and our 86 billion, sorting through those delicate, microscopic building blocks is no small…