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Man-Made Nerve Cells
December 26, 2002
Recently, embryonic stem cells and their possible use to treat a wide variety of ailments—including spinal cord injuries and diseases like Parkinson’s and diabetes—has sparked a great deal of excitement in the medical research community. This image of human neural stem cells (green) shows that these cells can become typical neurons when injected in rat hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory. Before injection, the stem cells were labeled with a green fluorescent protein to distinguish them from the rat’s nerve cells. Numerous cell extensions called dendrites and axons branch out from the cell bodies, the enlarged green spheres in the center of the image.

For more information about this research, see Stem Cell Shakes.

image: Ping Wu, Department of Anatomy & Neurosciences, University of Texas Medical Branch

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