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Brain’s growth, networks unveiled in new maps

Human, mouse brains probed in detail

1:00pm, April 2, 2014

MAPPED OUT  This top-down view of the mouse brain shows spindly connections made by neurons in distinct brain regions (marked by different colors).

Two new maps illustrate human and mouse brains in sharp relief, offering insights into how brains are built and operate. The studies, led by scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle and published  April 2 in Nature, join other recent large-scale descriptions of the brain (SN Online: 3/27/14; 2/17/14).

The new human map covers territory that’s still forming. By studying levels of gene activity in four postmortem fetal brains, researchers were able to describe how genes in different regions orchestrate the growth of the human brain. Some of these genes have been linked to developmental problems such as autism spectrum disorders. Having a detailed map of when and where

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