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Posts Tagged ‘Stem cell’

Human Embryonic Stem cell colony on mouse embr...Image via Wikipedia There is rightly much ado over the recent stem cell breakthrough. Indeed, who wouldn’t want to have an eternal supply of sprightly new cells to swap in to replace run-down geezer cells. Swapping in a neuron, however, is not quite so simple, as these cells are highly differentiated with far reaching projections and specific connections that have been pruned based on a lifetime of experience (ie. memories). Such is the dilemma of a neuron – how to stay fit and maintain that luxuriant bushy morphology and experience-pruned connectivity for 100 years or more ? Wu and company, in their recent paper, “Regulation of Dendritic Development by Neuron-Specific Chromatin Remodeling Complexes(DOI) show that neurons employ specialized SWI/SNF-like chromatin remodeling machinery to maintain dendritic arbor. Neurons from mice lacking BAF53b showed poor activity-dependent dendritic growth which is an amazing and profound result. This is because the dendrites are far, far, far away from the nucleus and yet, remodeling of nuclear DNA is exerting regulatory control over activity-dependent morphology changes. Beautiful bodies and smart as well !

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