New research sheds light on brain development

September 1, 2011

Dr. Antonio Colavita and his team have discovered a novel genetic pathway that plays a crucial role in the development of the nervous system in worms. Specifically, they found that the genes VANG-1 and PRKL-1 work together to prevent newly born neurons from forming inappropriate connections with other neurons – thus allowing them to focus on productive connections that help the worm move and respond to the environment. The research has important implications for understanding the human brain and developing novel therapies to promote brain regeneration. See PLoS Genetics for details.