biology gif

“Αυτό που βλέπετε είναι μια πρωτεΐνη, η κινησίνη, που μεταφέρει μια ενδορφίνη κατά μήκος ενός νήματος στο εσωτερικό μέρος του βρεγματικού φλοιού του εγκεφάλου που δημιουργεί την ευτυχία. Κοιτάζετε την ευτυχία!”

MRI of the Fetal Brain

Advancements in MRI are giving us an unprecedented look at the fetal brain.

Until approximately a decade ago, what researchers knew about the developing prenatal brain came primarily from analyzing the brains of aborted or miscarried fetuses. But studying postmortem brains can be confounding because scientists can’t definitively pinpoint whether the injuries to the brain occurred before or during birth. 

Over the years, however, improvements to MRI are finally enabling researchers to study the developing brain in real time. With these advancements, researchers are just beginning to understand how normal brains develop, and how abnormalities can manifest over the course of development. Scientists cataloguing typical infant brain development with the mini-MRI hope to use it eventually to study the brains of premature babies, who have a high risk of brain damage. Ultimately, clinicians hope to intervene early with therapies, if available and approved, to prevent developmental disorders when there are signs of brain damage in utero or shortly after birth.

Read more here in Nature Medicine. 

As much as it pains me, I must admit the animation probably isn’t terribly accurate. I happened to choose a topic that has surprisingly few resources available that clearly show the sequence and tendon attachments. I did find two dissection videos but they both skimmed over what I really wanted to see. Sigh.

At any rate, as a schematic it’ll do. Cat claws!