Photo: Laszlo Balogh / Reuters
Researchers from the Institute of molecular cell biology and genetics max Planck in Dresden (Germany) identified DNA that is involved in the formation of the neocortex, which is responsible for thinking and language. It turned out that the key role played by specific human gene ARHGAP11B. Scientists introduced this gene ferrets, which caused the animals active growth of neural cells. About it reported in a press release on MedicalXpress.
The neocortex or new cortex is the part of the brain of mammals, which in humans is a major part of the cortex (90%), and in animals, consists of a small number of neurons. The neocortex is involved in sensory perception, the implementation of motor commands, visualization of two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures and the formation of speech. In addition, he is very young evolutionary structure of the Central nervous system.
In a previous study, neuroscientists showed that the same procedure carried out on mice, contributes to division-specific progenitor cells, basal radial glial cells. They are involved in the development of the neocortex, but in rodents they are very small, to check whether ARHGAP11B promotes the growth of new bark.
Scientists have found that if you enter ARHGAP11B in the brain of embryos of domestic ferrets Mustela furo black, then they do increase the volume of the neocortex. The gene causes the neuronal progenitor cells that produce neurons, actively share over a longer period of time. The increase in the volume of new crust contributed to the emergence of folds, similar to those in humans.
According to the researchers, in future experiments, they will determine whether the growth of the neocortex has improved the cognitive abilities of ferrets.
Video, photo All from Russia.