Probing the brain’s earliest development, with a detour into rare childhood cancers
May 22, 2018
In our early days as embryos, before we had brains, we had a neural fold, bathed in amniotic fluid. Sometime in the early-to-mid first trimester, the fold closed to form a tube, capturing some of the fluid inside as cerebrospinal fluid. Only then did our brains begin to form.
In 2015, a team led by Maria Lehtinen, PhD, Kevin Chau, PhD, and Hanno Steen, PhD, at Boston Children’s Hospital showed that the profile of proteins in the fluid changes during this time. They further showed that these proteins “talk” to the neural stem cells that form the brain.
In new research just published in the online journal, eLife, Lehtinen and Chau shed more light on this little-known early stage of brain development.
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