19 April 2014

BRCA1 Shapes Brains

BRCA1, is a gene most will have heard of in relation to breast and ovarian cancer – BRCA1 mutations are associated with inherited susceptibility to these diseases. However, normal BRCA1 plays an important role in neurodevelopment. Researchers ‘knocked out’ the gene in the mouse central nervous system to find out what its function is there. They noted that among other widespread neural defects in the mutant mice the brain region called the cerebellum (right panel) is at least 50% smaller than that of normal mice (left). And the cells that make up the cerebellum are also very disorganised. Rare cases of similar brain abnormalities have been observed in people with mutated BRCA1. Thus, results generated from such studies of mice are likely to enhance our understanding of human brain development and gene defects associated with neural pathologies.

Written by Rhiannon Grant

Image by Carlos Perez-Garcia and colleagues
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA
Copyright held by original authors
Research published in PNAS, April 2014

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The U.S. is now an oligarchy instead of a democracy, study finds.http://bit.ly/1ezWoiC


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Évolution inversée

he looked old for 14

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There is belief that Picasso had schizophrenia, and research that schizophrenic patients draw progressively more like he did with distortion as their disorder progresses. I think it’s an interesting correlation if not causation.

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This is Zazzz, thought to be the country’s first identity-verifying marijuana vending machine. It was unveiled this month in Avon, Colorado, and it can check a purchaser’s identity before dispensing a product from an array of available items, including edibles and pre-rolled joints.

Photo: European Pressphoto Agency

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