Starting over!

…Aaaand we’re back!  There’s been a breach, an hiatus, a long radio silence, take your pick.  You can expect to see a more varied approach in this new incarnation, and a much broader range of posts, as we move toward involving multiple contributors on the blog, who’ll be discussing a whole range of brain-related topics and tangents as they ‘come to mind’.  Take a look at the ‘Our Contributors’ page in the left-hand menu to find out what interests, amuses, and enthuses us.

To kick things off, let’s discuss the amazing new header picture on display.  This image was captured by a CBR PhD student, Daniel Mee, and shows a ‘neurosphere’ at the bottom right of the picture.  Neurospheres are clusters of cells formed by dividing neural stem cells, when they are grown in culture.  Depending on the conditions they are grown in, these stem cells can be encouraged to differentiate into a variety of cell types.  They are grown here at the Centre for Brain Research in order to study neurogenesis and gliogenesis, the processes by which new cells are formed in the human brain.  It’s sobering to reflect on the fact that neurogenesis was thought not to take place in the brains of adult humans until relatively recently, and astonishing to think that such wild beauty can be discovered in a petri dish.

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