John Critser
HUMAN CELLS GROW IN RAT BRAINS A new in vivo model promises to shed light on how neural precursor cells migrate and take up residence in certain brain areas, with a little help from rats (O. Brustle et al., Nature Biotechnology, 16:1040-4, November 1998). Ronald McKay's group at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and Oliver Brustle's group at the University of Bonn Medical Center transplanted cells from human embryos into the ventricles of rat brains. The human cells migrated throughout the brain, and differentiated into the three major neural cell types, with no obvious effects on the host rodents. "The transplanted human cells incorporated individually into the developing rat brain, intermingling smoothly but not compressing the rat tissue," says Brustle, research group leader in...

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