Medical Research Council - Clinical Services Centre

Broccoli for Brains
29 June 2012

Broccoli for Brains

Brain cells can sometimes resemble vegetables thanks to contemporary research methodologies. Pictured is a broccoli-shaped brain cell grown in the lab. Known as astrocytes because they also resemble stars, these are the most common cell type in the central nervous system. In addition to providing nutrients for other brain cells, they also play a role in repair. Scientists found that after injury, radial glial cells (RGLs), a type of stem cell found in the brain and spinal cord, could mature into one of three different cell types, including astrocytes Each RGL can also self-renew, or copy itself and so replenish damaged tissue. Knowing how brain stem cells mature will hopefully prompt the development of new ways to treat diseases of the central nervous system.

Written by Gwen Wathne

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

Advertise with BPoD

We are currently offering no-fee advertising opportunities for scientific journals, which provide biomedical images for publication. If you are a journal editor, and would like to be considered for inclusion on our website, please get in touch with the Editor.

More Information