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Development. 2008 May;135(9):1575-87. doi: 10.1242/dev.014977. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

Neural stem cells: balancing self-renewal with differentiation.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Institute of Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA.


Stem cells are captivating because they have the potential to make multiple cell types yet maintain their undifferentiated state. Recent studies of Drosophila and mammalian neural stem cells have shed light on how stem cells regulate self-renewal versus differentiation and have revealed the proteins, processes and pathways that all converge to regulate neural progenitor self-renewal. If we can better understand how stem cells balance self-renewal versus differentiation, we will significantly advance our knowledge of embryogenesis, cancer biology and brain evolution, as well as the use of stem cells for therapeutic purposes.

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