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Human brains share a consistent genetic blueprint and possess enormous biochemical complexity
Date:9/19/2012

both during the lifespan and throughout evolution.
  • The right and left hemispheres show no significant differences in molecular architecture. This suggests that functions such as language, which are generally handled by one side of the brain, likely result from more subtle differences between hemispheres or structural variation in size or circuitry, but not from a deeper molecular basis.
  • Despite controlling a diversity of functions, ranging from visual perception to planning and problem-solving, the cortex is highly homogeneous relative to other brain regions. This suggests that the same basic functional elements are used throughout the cortex and that understanding how one area works in detail will uncover fundamentals that apply to the other areas, as well.
  • In addition to such global findings, the study provides new insights into the detailed inner workings of the brain at the molecular level the level at which diseases unfold and therapeutic drugs take action.
  • 84% of all genes are expressed, or turned on, somewhere in the human brain.
  • Many previously uncharacterized genes are turned on in specific brain regions and localize with known functional groups of genes, suggesting they play roles in particular brain functions.
  • Synapse-associated genes those related to cell-to-cell communication machinery in the brain are deployed in complex combinations throughout the brain, revealing a great diversity of synapse types and remarkable regional variation that likely underlies functional distinctions between brain regions.

    "The tremendous variety of synapses we see in the human brain is quite striking," said Seth Grant, FRSE, Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh and collaborating author on the study. "Mutations in synaptic genes are associated with numerous brain-related disorders, and thus understanding synapse diversity and organization in the brain is a key step toward understanding these d
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  • Contact: Steven Cooper
    press@alleninstitute.org
    646-358-2765
    Allen Institute for Brain Science
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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