Stem cell study could aid motor neurone disease research

Stem cell study could aid motor neurone disease research

Physorg.com | March 1, 2011

Scientists have discovered a new way to generate human motor nerve cells in a development that will help research into motor neurone disease.

A team from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge and Cardiff has created a range of motor neurons – nerves cells that send messages from the brain and spine to other parts of the body – from human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory.

It is the first time that researchers have been able to generate a variety of human motor neurons, which differ in their make-up and display properties depending on where they are located in the spinal cord.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, could help scientists better understand motor neurone disease. The process will enable scientists to create different types of motor neurons and study why some are more vulnerable to disease than others.

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