ADVERTISEMENT

Safer Neuron Source

THIS IS A PREVIEW.
or subscribe to access the full article.

As your body develops, neural stem cells transform into the specialized neurons, glia and other cells that make up your brain. Researchers have long hoped to harness these stem cells to grow replacements for neurons damaged in degenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease. But there is also some risk that neural stem cells will form tumors when implanted in a patient's brain. Now there may be an alternative.

Dennis Steindler of the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida and other scientists were able to extract a population of neural progenitor cells from glia of adult human brains. Proteins in the progenitor cell membranes clearly distinguished them from stem cells. Nevertheless, the progenitors possessed stem cell–like abilities, although—unlike stem cells—they exhibited no tendency to form tumors.

THIS IS A PREVIEW.
or subscribe to access the full article.
Digital Issue $7.95
Digital Subscription $19.99 Subscribe
Share this Article:

Comments

You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Holiday Sale

Scientific American Mind Digital

Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
+ 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

Hurry this offer ends soon! >

X

Email this Article

X