What keeps a Californian Prof up?
And closing this month's show, Professor Fred Gage from the Salk Institute California describes what's been keeping him up all night. Fred also researches the hippocampus, looking at a specific area of it, called the dentate gyrus. This region is one of the few brain areas that continues to get new brain cells being born throughout life.
Fred - One of the things that I find remarkable right this minute, there are a lot of things, but there are individual differences between neurons of the same brain structure. So here, we're talking about the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and that first pass, it looks like all these cells are exactly the same and in another area of the hippocampus called the CA1, there are pyramidal neurons and they look all the same. But if you go in and record from those cells individually or you go look at the expression patterns of RNA or even if you look at the DNA of those cells, they're different. All are different and the next wave of interest I predict will be looking at these individual differences that occur between individual neurons within the brain.
Hannah - That was Professor Fred Gage from the Salk Institute California. That's all for now. I'll be back again next month to pay attention to ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.