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Brain Gain

Constant sprouting of neurons attracts scientists, drugmakers

In the late 1990s, Fred Gage wanted to find a way to see if people, like birds and rodents, continue to produce new brain cells throughout life—a controversial idea at the time. Hearing that Swedish oncologists were injecting cancer patients with a dye that marks rapidly dividing cancer cells, he wondered whether the technique would also highlight newborn neurons in the brain.

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