News of the WeekNeuroscience

Genes Keep Neurons' House in Order

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Science  25 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5555, pp. 599-601
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5555.599b

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Scientists have spent decades teasing apart the complex signals that guide axons--the long extensions that allow neurons to communicate with distant cells--to their correct destinations and help them make the right connections. Now on page 686, neuroscientists describe a new family of proteins that help keep the wiring of the roundworm's nervous system tangle free. The discovery indicates the existence of a separate, later-acting maintenance mechanism.