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Human skin cells reprogrammed directly into brain cells

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posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 07:40 PM
((I did a search and it didn't turn up any results so I do apologize if this has already been made))

Scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type of brain cell affected by Huntington's disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Unlike other techniques that turn one cell type into another, this new process does not pass through a stem cell phase, avoiding the production of multiple cell types, the study's authors report.

The researchers, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, demonstrated that these converted cells survived at least six months after injection into the brains of mice and behaved similarly to native cells in the brain.

"Not only did these transplanted cells survive in the mouse brain, they showed functional properties similar to those of native cells," said senior author Andrew S. Yoo, PhD, assistant professor of developmental biology. "These cells are known to extend projections into certain brain regions. And we found the human transplanted cells also connected to these distant targets in the mouse brain. That's a landmark point about this paper."

Human skin cells reprogrammed directly into brain cells

They were able to produced a specific type of brain cell called medium spiny neurons, which are important for controlling movement. Medium spiny neurons are the primary cells affected in Huntington's disease, an inherited genetic disorder that causes involuntary muscle movements and cognitive decline usually beginning in middle-adulthood.

Research has been done like this before but they commonly use mouse cells or even human cells at an earlier stage in development. Instead they used adult human skin cells. In regard to potential future therapies, the ability to convert adult human cells presents the possibility of using a patient's own skin cells, which are easily accessible and won't be rejected by the immune system.

This study reminds me of this article:
Implanted neurons become part of the brain, mouse study shows

Here are two major studies that can end up helping out patients of two horrible diseases, Parkinson's and Huntington's.

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 09:25 PM
That is actually very interesting, and not just for those who have certain conditions that could be eased or outright fixed, but also for the future possibilities. Perhaps one day we will be able to expand person brainpower with an external, biological device. Like a "brain backpack," which has brain cells contained within a container that is somehow synchronized with your actual brain, perhaps electronically. I shudder to think of the stuff that will might be available over the next 100 years, because all of it will not be pleasing to think about now. Society has become more liberal as time has gone on, and perhaps things that we do not believe to be acceptable today will be commonplace in the future. In fact, I would expect as much.

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 09:35 PM
a reply to: JiggyPotamus
I can't even imagine having extra brain power, we already aren't operating on max power as humans, having more power would be nuts.

You are rich though that this has potential to help more people than just those suffering with Parkinson's & Huntington's.

There are a lot of breakthroughs being made with cells & getting them to grow into different things. I remember when they didn't want to do stem cell research. Look at the doors that opened up.

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 10:24 PM
So now a phrase as 'butt head' . . . can be meant literally.
wow, hows that for science

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 10:58 PM
a reply to: Sabiduria

Why are we not operating on max brain power?

I wouldn't mind increasing my brain power!

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 11:26 PM
This may have to change the way we think of skinny. Skinny was never really related to brain function before.

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 11:42 PM
A brain backpack? Now that's just weird. Beyond weird. Creepy..a reply to: JiggyPotamus

posted on Oct, 26 2014 @ 11:50 PM
a reply to: OccamsRazor04

Well according to SG1 in season 4 episode 3: Upgrades....:p jk

I had always heard that expression, even Albert Einstein has said it but when I looked into it for you, I found it wasn't true.

The 10% of brain myth is the widely perpetuated urban legend that most or all humans only make use of 10% (or some other small percentage) of their brains. It has been misattributed to many people, including Albert Einstein.[1] By extrapolation, it is suggested that a person may harness this unused potential and increase intelligence.

Changes in grey and white matter following new experiences and learning have been shown, however it is way too premature to establish what the changes are. The popular notion that large parts of the brain remain unused, and could subsequently be "activated", rests more in popular folklore than scientific theory. Though mysteries regarding brain function remain—e.g. memory, consciousness—the physiology of brain mapping suggests that all areas of the brain have a function.

One possible origin is the reserve energy theories by Harvard psychologists William James and Boris Sidis in the 1890s who tested the theory in the accelerated raising of child prodigy William Sidis to effect an adulthood IQ of 250–300; thus, William James told audiences that people only meet a fraction of their full mental potential, which is a plausible claim

I'm glad you asked that question, we both learned something

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