Smart Mice with half Human brain
Mice have been created whose brains are half human. As a result, the animals are smarter than their siblings by professors at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.
The idea is not to mimic fiction, but to advance our understanding of human brain diseases by studying them in whole mouse brains rather than in dishes.
The altered mice still have mouse neurons – the “thinking” cells that make up around half of all their brain cells. But practically all the glial cells in their brains, the ones that support the neurons, are human.
Team ex of experts at the university extracted immature glial cells from donated human fetuses. They injected them into mouse pups where they developed into astrocytes, a star-shaped type of glial cell.
Within a year, the mouse glial cells had been completely usurped by the human interlopers. The 300,000 human cells each mouse received multiplied until they numbered 12 million, displacing the native cells.
Astrocytes are vital for conscious thought, because they help to strengthen the connections between neurons, called synapses. Their tendrils (see image) are involved in coordinating the transmission of electrical signals across synapses.
Human astrocytes are 10 to 20 times the size of mouse astrocytes and carry 100 times as many tendrils. This means they can coordinate all the neural signals in an area far more adeptly than mouse astrocytes can.
A battery of standard tests for mouse memory and cognition showed that the mice with human astrocytes are much smarter than their mousy peers.
In one test that measures ability to remember a sound associated with a mild electric shock, for example, the humanised mice froze for four times as long as other mice when they heard the sound, suggesting their memory was about four times better.
for more details visit : University of Rochester Medical Center : https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/