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When human brain cells called astrocytes are let loose in mouse brains, they make the mice smarter.

The smart mouse with the half-human brain:

smart mouse with the half human brain health 01 December 2014 New Scientist


Stashed in: Brain, Awesome, Medicine, Intelligence, Neuroscience, yeah, science!

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In a parallel experiment, Goldman injected immature human glial cells into mouse pups that were poor at making myelin, the protein that insulates nerves. Once inside the mouse brain, many of the human glial cells matured into oligodendrocytes, brain cells that specialise in making the insulating material, suggesting that the cells somehow detected and compensated for the defect.

This could be useful for treating diseases in which the myelin sheath is damaged, such as multiple sclerosis, says Goldman, and he has already applied for permission to treat MS patients with the glial progenitor cells, and hopes to start a trial in 12 to 15 months.

Basically, injection of neuronal progenitor cells may be useful for repairing damage.

From Reddit

Two questions:

  1. Could immature brain cells help Alzheimer's patients?

  2. Could injecting brain cells from "smart/specialized" people also improve the intelligence of "not so smart/specialized" people? (Helping them to learn faster, not make them better right away miraculously)I.e. brain cells from a math genius at MIT to someone who score 200 on SAT math; Slash's brain cell to a guitar noob, etc.

Both good questions and certainly possible! We live in glorious times. 

I love how unbounded some people's imaginations are!