Thursday, June 9, 2016

Diversity of oligodendrocytes

Earlier in this quarter, we had an overview of the nervous system and talked about different types of nerve cells. In high school, I worked in a multiple sclerosis lab that studied oligodendrocytes ability to remyelinate demyelinated cells due to multiple sclerosis. These researchers used a recently developed technique called single cell RNA-sequencing, which allows them to characterize subtle differences that would be missed with classical methods. With this method, they were able discover 12 different subtypes of oligodendrocytes. This unexpected diversity, because oligodendrocytes were thought to all be the same type of cell, might lead to new pathways of research for neurodegenerative diseases.

-David Lowe

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