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Genetic Switches Behind Human Brain Evolution

The human brain differs from that of mice and monkeys because of its large cerebral cortex. The organ's most highly developed part, the cerebral cortex is responsible for thinking, perceiving and sophisticated communication. Scientists are just beginning to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that drive the growth of the

Brain’s Appetite Regulator Disrupted in Obese Teens

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity has more than quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years. It is estimated that more than one-third of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Obesity in adolescence is associated with a number of health

Brain Cortex Development: Ryk Needs a Chaperone

In the study, first authors Wen-Hsuan Chang from the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Wange Lu, Si Ho Choi from the Dongnam Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences (DIRAMS) in South Korea, and their colleagues describe how Ryk and its chaperone contribute to the development of the brain's cortex, which

Imaging Technique Shows Progress Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's disease is associated with areas of high protein concentration in brain tissue: plaques and tangles. Raman imaging is now used to get sharp images of these affected areas. It is an attractive technique, because it shows more than the specific proteins involved. The presence of water and lipids, influenced

Dysfunction of intricate astrocyte cells may underlie autism, schizophrenia and epilepsy

New research from Duke University finds that astrocytes are much more than neurons' entourage. Their unique architecture is also extremely important for regulating the development and function of synapses in the brain. When they don't work right, astrocyte dysfunction may underlie neuronal problems observed in devastating diseases like autism, schizophrenia and

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