• In their study, Dr Huttner and his colleagues from the Technical University of Dresden and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology isolated different subpopulations of human brain stem cells and precisely identified which genes are active in which cell type.
  • In doing so, they noticed that one particular gene contributed to the reproduction of basal brain stem cells, triggering a folding of the neocortex. According to the team, the gene, called ARHGAP11B, is found in modern-day humans and our ancient relatives, Neanderthals and Denisovans, but not in chimpanzees.
  • They introduced it into mice embryos and under its influence the mice produced significantly more brain stem cells and in half of all cases even a folding of the neocortex, which is typical for human brains.

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