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Mutations in the brain

| November 5, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Far from being a rare, dangerous fluke, mosaic neurons turn out to be abundant in our brains.

With so much mutating going on in our brains, it may be hard to believe that our brains can work at all. But mutations tend to emerge in the parts of the genome that a cell uses least. So many of the mutations that Gage and his colleagues have discovered may affect genes that don’t matter in the brain anyway.

Even if a mosaic neuron does turn out to be defective, the brain may have ways to prevent it from causing much trouble. It’s even possible that those misfit neurons can let our brains perform in new ways. The brain may not just tolerate diversity. It may depend on it.

Read the full, original story here: Our Speckled Brains

The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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