How to Grow a New Head

Originally posted on Medical Genetics:
Cut most species of flatworm in half, and you end up with two flatworms. The front half will grow a new tail and, more impressively, the back half will grow a new head—complete with a fully functioning brain. But a few species of these worms mysteriously lack this ability, at…

The Neandertal genome

Originally posted on Medical Genetics:
Introduction Recent advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing have provided initial glimpses of the nuclear genome of Neandertals as well as other ancient mammals including cave bears and mammoths. In the 7 May 2010 issue of Science, an international team of researchers presents the draft sequence of the Neandertal genome composed…

Sleep: The Ultimate Brainwasher?

Originally posted on Medical Genetics:
17 October 2013 2:15 pm Scientists show that our brains clean themselves while we slumber Maiken Nedergaard/Jeff Iliff Brainwashing. When mice sleep, fluid-filled channels (pale blue) between neurons expand and flush out waste. Every night since humans first evolved, we have made what might be considered a baffling, dangerous mistake.…

Alzheimer’s Disease

Originally posted on Medical Genetics:
Looking into the Crystal Ball for Alzheimer’s Disease William J. Mack University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA. E-mail: William.Mack@med.usc.edu As our population ages, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) continues to increase at a rapid rate. An estimated 5 to 10% of individuals over 65, and 40% of…

Neurons in the Adult Brain still divide!

Originally posted on Medical Genetics:
Neuroscience. 2nd edition. Generation of Neurons in the Adult Brain It has long been known that mature, differentiated neurons do not divide (see Chapter 22). It does not follow, however, that all the neurons that make up the adult brain are produced during embryonic development, even though this interpretation has…