Image courtesy of Eyewire ©2000, Graphic: Cathleen Heard

How do you make a neuron? Nowadays, that depends on how you like your neurons. Perhaps you're having problems expanding your neural stem cells (NSCs) to large numbers because after repeated passaging, they lose the phenotype or go into crisis. Read the June Nature Biotechnology, where National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke neurobiologist Ron McKay offers a recipe for making dopaminergic and GABAnergic neurons from rat embryonic stem (ES) cells.1 Because they often proliferate more rapidly than NSCs, ES cells do much of your expansion work for you.

Out of ES cells? Make your own. This month in Current Biology, Stem Cell Sciences offers a recipe for making rejection-free, designer mouse ES cells out of somatic cells, via nuclear transfer.2 Or check out recipes in two journals last month for turning adult bone marrow stromal cell (BMSC)...

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