UW Effort to Map Down Syndrome Brain Raises Prospect of Treatment for Disorder
In a lab near UW Hospital, Megan Jandy grows stem cells from people with Down syndrome — 10 batches of cells, most in three-dimensional clusters, each batch featuring one group with the extra chromosome that causes the disorder and one group without it.
Under a microscope, the graduate student examines clusters 33 days after they were created. The clumps, coaxed to become brain cells, look like tiny potatoes, marked with dots that suggest sprouts, or eyes. Each dot could become a ventricle, which in a fully developed brain contains cerebral spinal fluid.
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