Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Seeing Sense
24 February 2015

Seeing Sense

The gift of sight doesn’t come cheap – about 80 per cent of your brain’s processing power is spent on vision. All of this information comes from the retina, the light-sensitive nerve cells, or neurons, lining the back of each eye. Scientists recently discovered more about the structure of the retina by studying zebrafish embryos. They found that an enzyme called CDK1 is essential for progenitor cells – which mature into retinal neurons – to arrange themselves properly. CDK1 caused the nucleus, at the centre of progenitor cells, to move upwards just before cell division, so that the two daughter cells integrated properly into the retinal tissue. Pictured is a fully formed eye of a zebrafish with the retinal neurons (stained green) clustered around the hole-like optic nerve.

Written by Mick Warwicker

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