Tag Archives: Mary E. Hatten

Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitry

Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitryResearchers have, for the first time, described the pivotal changes responsible for controlling the formation of the part of the brain that allows us to learn and execute complex movements. These changes involve modifications to chromatin, which is DNA packaged with protein. More »

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Protein found to control the early migration of neurons

Long before our nervous system is able to see, smell, touch, hear or speak, the earliest neurons that make it up must be precisely guided to the proper layers in the developing brain. Exactly how this early neuron migration happens has been elusive, but a better understanding of it could lead to insight into myriad developmental problems, including autism and schizophrenia. New research identifies a gene that works behind-the-scenes to control a closely related adhesion gene that helps keep young neurons on the right track. More »

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New imaging studies reveal mechanics of neuron migration

In the developing brain, generations of young neurons undergo a staged migration, with the earliest-born cells staying relatively close to their birthplace and subsequent generations traveling further, ultimately stratifying into six neuronal layers in the mature brain. For the first time, imaging studies have identified the “motors” that propel this unique form of cell migration, giving insight into the delicate layering of the brain that underlies the formation of synaptic circuitry. More »

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Genetic profiling reveals genes active in the earliest brain circuit construction

Screening for genes that guide the earliest formation of the embryonic brain, researchers identified 229 specifically responsible for subplate neurons, which form the initial scaffolding for assembling cortical circuits. The work indicates the breadth of factors involved in initial neurogenesis and provides investigators with a biochemical handle to start investigating the various contributions. More »


New glimpse into early brain development shows how nerve cells move into position

By pinning down how cells in the brain’s cerebellum migrate and differentiate during the first stages of brain development, researchers show that different combinations of regulatory proteins called transcription factors are responsible for driving these changes. More »

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Chemical cues turn embryonic stem cells into cerebellar neurons

vIn order to differentiate and specialize, stem cells require very specific environmental cues in a very specific order, and scientists have so far been unable to prod them to go through each of the necessary steps. But now, for the first time, a study in mice shows that embryonic stem cells implanted in the brain appear to develop into fully differentiated granule neurons, the most plentiful neuron in the cerebellum. More »

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Cellular Two Step

Following the often-quoted advice of Yogi Berra — “You can observe a lot by just watching” — Rockefeller University scientists show that nerve cells in the developing brains of humans and other mammals move in a two-part “step” led by a structure within the cell called the centrosome. Once the centrosome, the key organizing point for the cell’s internal skeleton, moves forward, the cell nucleus follows. The Rockefeller scientists produced time-lapse movies that show nerve cell migration in unprecedented clarity and detail. More »

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GenSAT (Gene Expression Nervous System Atlas) Project announced

For scientists studying the brain, this week’s Nature announces a remarkable new map describing previously uncharted territory, plus the means of exploring the new horizons for themselves. Rockefeller University scientists led by Nat Heintz, Ph.D. and Mary Beth Hatten, Ph.D. are well under way on a genetic atlas of the mammalian brain that provides unprecedented access to central nervous system regions, cell classes and pathways. More »

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Gene Involved in Brain Development Identified

Scientists from The Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have for the first time identified a gene involved in directing nerve cells to their destinations as the brain grows. Their work appears in the April 19 Science. More »

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