Mice get brain boost from transplanted human tissue
Study suggests support cells may enhance people’s thinking prowess
By Tina Hesman Saey, 11:17 AM March 7, 2013
Transplanting human brain cells into mice makes the mice smarter, a new study shows.
But the smart-making brain cells are not the nerve cells most people think of as controlling thoughts. Instead, they are part of the supporting cast of brain cells known as glia (Greek for “glue”).
Scientists have long seen glia, including a subset known as astrocytes, as support cells that feed neurons, mop up excess neurotransmitters and generally help hold the brain together. The new study, published ...
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