I, for one, welcome our new mice overlords.
http://www.bizjournals.com/masshightech ... ily60.html
Harvard Medical School scientists have discovered molecules in the brain that can turn stem cells into neurons and repair damaged tissue, which could lead to new treatments for such conditions as Alzheimer's disease and spinal cord injuries.
The research behind the discovery was done at Harvard's Schepens Eye Research Institute, where scientists found that stem cells are ubiquitous in the brain but remain mostly dormant due to chemical signals from cells called astrocytes. The findings were published online this week in the academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
In a study of mice, the researchers found that removing the molecules produced by astrocyte cells activated stem cells in the animals' brains into neurons. The discovery sheds new light on potential treatments for Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injuries and other neurological conditions, study scientists said.
The Schepens research team now plans to conduct a new study involving mice with such neurodegenerative disorders as Parkinson's disease, to see whether the method of blocking the astrocyte-related molecules helps restore brain tissue.