Giving the brain a hand

PROFILE: Scientist Kristen Brennand uses stem cells to understand brain disorders

By Susan Gaidos, 13:22 PM September 10, 2010

To figure out how your brain cells behave, scientist Kristen Brennand would first look at the skin on your hand. As a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Fred Gage at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, Brennand transforms skin cells into brain cells to study how the brain behaves in health and disease. It sounds like magic, but it’s not: Before brain cells become full-grown neurons, they start out as immature stem cells. Stem cells have the ability to become any type of ...

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