Tiny 'garbage collectors' help control brain development

February 19, 2014 by Bill Hathaway
Tiny ‘garbage collectors’ help control brain development

(Medical Xpress)—Millions of tiny nanovesicles—once thought to be merely molecular garbage collectors—are actually stuffed with information crucial to brain development, Yale researchers report.

Researchers in the lab of Angelique Bordey, professor of neurosurgery and of physiology, studied exosome nanovesicles found in the of the developing brains of , stained pink in the accompanying photo. Until the last few years, scientists had believed that the primary job of these nanovesicles was to sweep up byproducts of cellular activity.

However, the researchers discovered these nanovesicles contained hundreds of proteins and bits of small RNAs that regulate a key molecular pathway controlling the density of neurons in developing brain. Bordey said it may be possible one day to analyze the contents of these nanovesicles to diagnose neurological conditions such as autism before birth.

To learn more, read the study published online Feb. 18 in the journal PLOS ONE.

Explore further: Researchers discover biomarker, potential targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer

Related Stories

Researchers discover biomarker, potential targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer

October 4, 2013
University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have discovered a biomarker, known as phosphatidylserine (PS), for pancreatic cancer that could be effectively targeted, creating a potential therapy for a condition that has a small ...

Nature's own nanoparticles harnessed to target disease

July 10, 2013
Using a novel form of immune-genetic therapy, researchers from Yale School of Medicine and the Jagiellonian University College of Medicine in Poland have successfully inhibited a strong immune allergic inflammatory response ...

Research reveals new understanding, warning signs, and potential treatments for multiple sclerosis

November 10, 2013
Scientists are gaining a new level of understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS) that may lead to new treatments and approaches to controlling the chronic disease, according to new research released today at Neuroscience 2013, ...

Possible safe and novel painkillers from tarantula venom

February 14, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Screening more than 100 spider toxins, Yale researchers identified a protein from the venom of the Peruvian green velvet tarantula that blunts activity in pain-transmitting neurons. The findings, reported ...

Recommended for you

Small but distinct differences among species mark evolution of human brain

November 23, 2017
The most dramatic divergence between humans and other primates can be found in the brain, the primary organ that gives our species its identity.

Team constructs whole-brain map of electrical connections key to forming memories

November 22, 2017
A team of neuroscientists at the University of Pennsylvania has constructed the first whole-brain map of electrical connectivity in the brain based on data from nearly 300 neurosurgical patients with electrodes implanted ...

To forget or to remember? Memory depends on subtle brain signals, scientists find

November 22, 2017
The fragrance of hot pumpkin pie can bring back pleasant memories of holidays past, while the scent of an antiseptic hospital room may cause a shudder. The power of odors to activate memories both pleasing and aversive exists ...

What if consciousness is not what drives the human mind?

November 22, 2017
Everyone knows what it feels like to have consciousness: it's that self-evident sense of personal awareness, which gives us a feeling of ownership and control over the thoughts, emotions and experiences that we have every ...

Pitch imperfect? How the brain decodes pitch may improve cochlear implants

November 22, 2017
Picture yourself with a friend in a crowded restaurant. The din of other diners, the clattering of dishes, the muffled notes of background music, the voice of your friend, not to mention your own – all compete for your ...

New research suggests high-intensity exercise boosts memory

November 22, 2017
The health advantages of high-intensity exercise are widely known but new research from McMaster University points to another major benefit: better memory.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JVK
not rated yet Feb 20, 2014
Journal Article excerpt:

"We found that the most highly enriched human microRNAs were also present in rats..."

Does this suggest that Nei's concept of 'constraint-breaking mutation can be used to compare the claim: "We all are mutants" --Discover Magazine March 2014 (p. 32) -- to the claim that we are all mutant rats, since it is obvious that evolutionarily conserved molecules are involved?

http://discoverma...volution

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.