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Human-Frog Hybrids May Reveal Autism's Secrets - New Scientist

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:25 PM
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Human-Frog Hybrids May Reveal Autism's Secrets - New Scientist
AIIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! RUN!!!!!!!!!!! The Man-Animal Hybrids are here!!!!!!!!!

:evilgrin:


Human-frog hybrids might reveal the neurological secrets of autism. By fusing cells from the preserved brains of deceased autistic patients with the eggs of a carnivorous African frog called Xenopus, scientists have started investigating the way the brain cells of people with autism behave. The frog eggs work a little like human neurons and the hybrid cells act as a surrogate of a living brain with the condition.

"It's almost as if you were studying a neuron in the human brain," says Ricardo Miledi, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Irvine, who developed the approach and has previously used Xenopus eggs to study epilepsy.

Miledi's earlier work has suggested that some brain cells of epilepsy patients have trouble sensing a molecule that helps damp down neuron activity. The proteins in question, called neurotransmitter receptors, sense the chemicals that neurons use to communicate, and Miledi thinks that problems with these proteins underlie epilepsy and other disorders

Some researchers blame autism on a malfunction in mirror neurons, cells that play a vital role in understanding the actions of others people. To see if abnormalities in neurotransmitter signalling also underlie autism, Miledi's team collected brain samples from six deceased autistic patients, aged eight to 39. They fused brain-cell membranes, which house neurotransmitter receptors, together with Xenopus egg membranes. As a control, they did the same thing with brain cells from patients with no history of mental disorder.

EDIT

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14374-humanfrog-h...
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:26 PM
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1. Don't tell the savage wiener- they must be bratty frog-humans w/o good parents n/t
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:31 PM
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2. Seriously, I love science. There is just so much to be learned.
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exothermic Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 01:40 PM
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3. Well, there go the high-jump records...
:D
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 04:32 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. But ...
... it will be a *hell* of a noisy competition!
:evilgrin:
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