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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

 
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...


Read more at: New method developed for ‘up-sizing’ mini organs used in medical research
 New method developed for ‘up-sizing’ mini organs used in medical research

New method developed for ‘up-sizing’ mini organs used in medical research

7 March 2021

A team of engineers and scientists has developed a method of ‘up-sizing’ organoids: miniature collections of cells which mimic the behaviour of various organs and are promising tools for the study of human biology and disease.


Read more at: Brief sensory deprivation triggers cell type-specific structural and functional plasticity in olfactory bulb neurons
Brief sensory deprivation triggers cell type-specific structural and functional plasticity in olfactory bulb neurons

Brief sensory deprivation triggers cell type-specific structural and functional plasticity in olfactory bulb neurons

15 February 2021

A new study by Elisa Galliano and colleagues in the Grubb lab at King’s College London was recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The authors investigated how a short-lived loss of smell (akin to a mild cold) induces functional and structural plasticity in a specific sub-population of dopaminergic interneurons in the mouse olfactory bulb.