Brain shape development studied

May 05, 2006

A Harvard study says visual stimulation turns up genes that shape the brain.

Citing the pioneering work of Nobel Prize-winning Harvard researchers David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel, the new study found that visual stimulus turns up the expression of some genes and turns down the expression of others, somewhat like a conductor cuing the members of an orchestra.

The study also found that during different stages of life in rodents, distinct sets of genes spring into action in response to visual input. The findings are reported in the May issue of Nature Neuroscience.

"What we found opens science up to a more global look at genes, from studying one gene at a time to looking at families of genes acting together," said lead author Marta Majdan, a research fellow in neurobiology.

The findings suggest that genetic therapies for neurodegenerative diseases will require more extensive knowledge of molecular pathways and gene interactions to be successful.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Instant noodles carry health risks for women: study

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Killer sperm' prevents mating between worm species

Jul 29, 2014

The classic definition of a biological species is the ability to breed within its group, and the inability to breed outside it. For instance, breeding a horse and a donkey may result in a live mule offspring, ...

The genes tell crows to choose partners that look alike

Jun 19, 2014

Crows like to select mates that look alike. In a large-scale genomic study, published in Science today, a team of researchers led by Uppsala University found that this behaviour might be rooted in their ...

Recommended for you

Many patients are discharged without a diagnosis

2 hours ago

Chest pain, breathing difficulties, fainting. Each year approx. 265,000 Danes are acutely admitted to medical departments with symptoms of serious illness. New research from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital ...

User comments : 0