Building a Better Cell

  • Published30 May 2017
  • Reviewed30 May 2017
  • Author Michael W. Richardson
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

Scientists placed the above stem cell (pictured in magenta) into a synthetic gel. After two weeks, the cell spouted a web of nerve fibers (pictured in green).
Collin Edington and Iris Lee, MIT.

Neural stem cells have an amazing capacity for change – they can form into all the different types of cells that make up the brain and nervous system. Scientists placed the above stem cell (pictured in magenta) into a synthetic gel. After two weeks, the cell spouted a web of nerve fibers (pictured in green). Growing these cells artificially will help scientists study how the environment affects cell growth in the brain.

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