What goes on inside a chimp’s head?

This is an image of microscopic forebrain neural progenitor cells from a chimpanzee.

Researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, US, took skin cells from an ape and then induced them to turn into multiple types of other cells, including neurons, by subjecting them to a range of chemical and viral treatments.

The progenitor cells are being used by a team headed by Rusty Gage as part of a project to study the differences in gene expression governing brain development in humans and their close relatives.

Details of the procedure are published in the journal eLife.

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