Abnormal cells in the early embryo are not necessarily a sign that a baby will be born with a birth defect such as Down’s syndrome, suggests new research carried out in mice at the University of Cambridge. In a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, scientists show that abnormal cells are eliminated and replaced by healthy cells, repairing – and in some cases completely fixing – the embryo.
Genetic ‘signatures’ of early-stage embryos confirm that our development begins to take shape as early as the second day after conception, when we are a mere four cells in size, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge and EMBL-EBI. Although they seem to be identical, the cells of the two day-old embryo are already beginning to display subtle differences.
The process of ageing begins even before we are born, according to an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge. In a study using rats to model pregnancy and fetal development, the researchers also found that providing mothers with antioxidants during pregnancy meant that their offspring aged more slowly in adulthood.
Cambridge researchers are studying what makes a brain efficient and how that affects behaviour in insects.
How does the brain make connections, and how does it maintain them? Cambridge neuroscientists and mathematicians are using a variety of techniques to understand how the brain ‘wires up’, and what it might be able to tell us about degeneration in later life.
PDN researcher Dr Erica Watson has been awarded the Lister Institute Research Prize for her promising work in transgenerational epigenetic effects of folate metabolism.
Roy D. Patterson, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, has been named recipient of the Acoustical Society of America’s Silver Medal in Psychological and Physiological Acoustics.
The journey from a single fertilised egg cell through to a baby delivered crying into the arms of its mother is one of the most beautiful and complex processes to occur in nature. We are only just beginning to understand the very earliest stages of life – when we are nothing more than a cluster of cells.
Nerve cells damaged in diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), ‘talk’ to stem cells in the same way that they communicate with other nerve cells, calling out for ‘first aid’, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.