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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

 
Read more at: Lab-grown ‘mini brains’ hint at treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

Lab-grown ‘mini brains’ hint at treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

22 October 2021

An interdisciplinary team of University of Cambridge researchers have developed a novel human brain organoid model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD). The work led by senior author Dr András Lakatos in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and first author, Dr Kornélia Szebényi, a...


Read more at: Prof Christine Holt awarded Honorary Membership to the Physiological Society

Prof Christine Holt awarded Honorary Membership to the Physiological Society

31 August 2021

Professor Christine Holt has been awarded the membership by the Physiological Society’s Board of Trustees. Honorary membership is the highest honour that The Physiological Society presents to an individual and it recognises persons of distinction in science who have contributed to the advancement of physiology. The other...


Read more at: The epigenome is not as sensitive to the environment as previously thought

The epigenome is not as sensitive to the environment as previously thought

29 July 2021

Early-life exposure of an individual to the environmental factors (e.g., maternal high fat diet, toxicant exposure, folic acid deficiency) is thought to influence the epigenome or chemical marks on their DNA (e.g. methylation) that control how genes are expressed. If environmentally-induced changes in DNA methylation occur...


Read more at: Marmoset study identifies brain region linking actions to their outcomes

Marmoset study identifies brain region linking actions to their outcomes

25 June 2021

Researchers have discovered a specific brain region underlying ‘goal-directed behaviour’ – that is, when we consciously do something with a particular goal in mind, for example going to the shops to buy food. The study, published today in the journal Neuron , found that marmoset monkeys could no longer make an association...


Read more at: Preferences for nutrients and sensory food qualities identify biological sources of economic values in monkeys

Preferences for nutrients and sensory food qualities identify biological sources of economic values in monkeys

24 June 2021

Preferences for foods high in sugar and fat are near universal and major contributors to obesity. Additionally, human food choices are sophisticated and individualistic: we choose by evaluating a food’s nutrient content and sensory features, and trade them against quantity and cost. A study published this Monday in the...


Read more at: Menstrual flow as a non-invasive source of endometrial organoids

Menstrual flow as a non-invasive source of endometrial organoids

18 June 2021

New study by the Centre for Trophoblast Research shows that menstrual flow contains viable endometrial gland progenitor cells, and can be used to derive physiologically relevant organoid cultures in a non-invasive manner. We confirmed that the transcriptome of the resultant organoids is identical to that of organoids...


Read more at: Study identifies trigger for ‘head-to-tail’ axis development in human embryo
The soft mechanical signature of glial scars in the central nervous system

Study identifies trigger for ‘head-to-tail’ axis development in human embryo

15 June 2021

Scientists have identified key molecular events in the developing human embryo between days 7 and 14 - one of the most mysterious, yet critical, stages of our development. The second week of gestation represents a critical stage of embryo development, or embryogenesis. Failure of development during this time is one of the...


Read more at: Folic acid deficiency alters the sperm epigenome and is associated with transcriptional memory in grandchildren
The soft mechanical signature of glial scars in the central nervous system

Folic acid deficiency alters the sperm epigenome and is associated with transcriptional memory in grandchildren

15 June 2021

Gene expression changes are linked to increased risk for spina bifida, heart defects, and placental abnormalities Folic acid deficiency adversely affects pregnancy. A study out today reveals that a mutation in a gene necessary for breaking down folic acid in the cell not only disrupts the sperm epigenome but can also alter...


Read more at: Scientists can predict which women will have serious pregnancy complications
The soft mechanical signature of glial scars in the central nervous system

Scientists can predict which women will have serious pregnancy complications

8 June 2021

Women who will develop potentially life-threatening disorders during pregnancy can be identified early when hormone levels in the placenta are tested, a new study has shown. Pregnancy disorders affect around one in ten pregnant women. Nearly all of the organ systems of the mother’s body need to alter their function during...


Read more at: Simple treatment during pregnancy can protect baby from memory problems in later life, study in rats suggests

Simple treatment during pregnancy can protect baby from memory problems in later life, study in rats suggests

21 April 2021

Low oxygen in the womb - known as chronic fetal hypoxia - is one of the most common complications in human pregnancy. It can be diagnosed when a routine ultrasound scan shows that the baby is not growing properly and is caused by a number of conditions including pre-eclampsia, infection of the placenta, gestational...