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Human neocortical L2/3 cells

Our paper got publish in Nature!

Human body consist of thousands of different cell types. Some make up the retina o allow us to see the world, some make up our guts to digest food, some are parts of our brain that generates the electric activity and forms the basis of all our thoughts and emotions. There are a lot of cells in our bodies, but only certain number of cell types. Cell are not unique, but are organized in types.

In our work using RNA sequencing, electrophysiology and anatomy we found that human neocortex (it is located on the surface of the brain) has a lot of special types in layer 2/3. It turns out that our brains have substantially expanded this area of the brain, which might be related to our high level cognitive functions. It is proportionally much wider that the other neocortical layers and is much wider compared to the other mammals, like mice.

Knowing who is who is in the brain is actually important. For example, for treatment of the brain disorders which first affect particular cells types. So, if we understand the pathology in these cells, we could find cures faster. Neurodegenerative disorders that we study at Cajal Neuroscience often have cell type specific vulnerability. Some cells die earlier than the others in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and it could give us a clue of what is wrong with them on the genetic level. But one should fist define the types to compare apples to apples.

Overall, I have been working on this project for more than 2 yers and it has all started before I joined. And now when it is finally out, I should say that now I am the scientists who got published in the most prestigious journal in the world 🙂 Huge team effort of more than 131 researchers from United States, Israel, Netherlands and Hungary, coordinated by Allen Institute for Brain Science

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