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Scientists find a new and easy way of producing neurons


Key points from article :

Inhibiting a gene called PTB in mice can convert brain support cells, into neurons.

Developed a non-infectious virus that carries a piece of DNA to bind the RNA coding for PTB.

Injected directly to mouse's midbrain that loses dopamine-producing neurons in Parkinson's disease.

Some astrocytes converted into neurons increasing the number of neurons by approximately 30%.

Dopamine levels were restored to a level comparable to that in normal mice.

Returned to normal within three months and remained asymptomatic for the rest of their lives.

Potential therapy for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Research by University of California - San Diego published in the journal Nature.

PTB is the ultimate switch that controls conversion of a cell into a neuron

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Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at University of California, San Diego


Postdoctoral researcher at University of California San Diego


Scientific journal covering research from a variety of academic disciplines, mostly in science and technology


Professor at Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego


Professor of cellular and molecular medicine at University of California, San Diego