Science: A Window On the Mind

Researchers manage to grow brain cells in the laboratory

Unlike most other kinds of cells, the neurons that make up the adult central nervous system do not divide and multiply. Once they die, they cannot be replaced -- a fact that makes brain and spinal damage so devastating. But, in an unprecedented experiment, scientists at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine chanced upon a kind of human brain cell that could be nourished and cultivated. The researchers have kept a laboratory culture of the neurons alive -- and multiplying -- for nearly two years. The new technique, reported last week in Science, should make it easier for scientists to study...

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