New brain cells die without a job to do


When it comes to brainpower they say you either use it or lose it. Now a study in mice suggests that the survival of newly formed adult brain cells depends on the amount of input they receive. Fred Gage of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, and his colleagues infected genetically engineered mice with a virus that stops new brain cells from producing NMDA receptors – proteins that sit on the surface of brain cells and help them communicate with each other. The virus used infects only newly generated cells,
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