Scientists discover why the human brain is so big

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    • #425391
      • Total Posts: 9,009

      The healthy human brain typically reaches about 1,500cm3 in adulthood, roughly three times the size of the 500cm3 gorilla brain or the 400cm3 chimp brain. But working out why has been fraught with difficulty, not least because developing human and great ape brains cannot easily be studied.

      In an effort to understand the process, Lancaster and her colleagues collected cells, often left over from medical tests or operations, from humans, gorillas and chimps, and reprogrammed them into stem cells. They then grew these cells in such a way that encouraged them to turn into brain organoids – little lumps of brain tissue a few millimetres wide.

      After several weeks, the human brain organoids were by far the largest of the lot, and close examination revealed why. In human brain tissue, so-called neural progenitor cells – which go on to make all of the cells in the brain – divided more than those in great ape brain tissue.

      Lancaster, whose study is published in Cell, added: “You have an increase in the number of those cells, so once they switch to making the different brain cells, including neurons, you have more to start with, so you get an increase in the whole population of brain cells across the entire cortex.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #425457
      Scott Crowder
      • Total Posts: 413

      Gorillas super intelligent.

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