Week 9. Wiring the brain
The curriculum is slowly ending with only a few lectures left and it is a little upsetting. During these weeks, we managed to learn a lot about the brain and its features. This week our book reading and lecture focused on the development of the brain, from early childhood to old age. We studied how nerve cells are formed, how they develop, and how they die.
Many thanks to our lecturer who explained the material well, with the help of video and the help of small examples. So, wiring the brain was explained on an example of the visual system, and the importance of sensory input for synapse development was highlighted.
The note on the mystery of autism in the textbook turned out to be quite interesting. It was somewhat surprising to read that autism is quite hereditary and that autistic children tend to have too many neurons and axons in their brains. Overall, there is a future prospect for better research into this area and developing the right therapy for the people who need it.
Reading and learning about stem cells was interesting and seems like there is great potential in this research, just like there is in stem cells themselves! Especially therapeutic possibilities of induced pluripotent stem cells are intriguing.
Despite the fact that we have a few lectures left, we also have a few homework assignments that should be completed in the near future. Our group has already begun to work on them, which helps us to refresh our knowledge and to learn what has not been learned yet.