Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Early Impact
20 February 2018

Early Impact

Huntington’s disease is one of the few inherited conditions whose genetic cause is clear-cut; this neurodegenerative disease develops in all individuals with abnormal nucleotide repeats in their Huntingtin (or HTT) gene sequence. Yet how this defective HTT causes neuronal loss is unclear, and the disease remains incurable. While most patients develop symptoms as adults, new research suggests that problems arise much earlier. To spot the first signs of Huntington’s, scientists monitored the development of the disease in human stem cells. They noticed that, as neurons [nerve cells] began to form, inaccurate partitioning of DNA during cell division led to abnormal neurons, with several nuclei per cell (pictured, as clusters of blue spheres). Cell lines completely lacking HTT showed similar issues, suggesting that the lack of a functional HTT could be causing the problem in Huntington’s. This fresh focus on early development could yield new avenues for research on this devastating condition.

Written by Emmanuelle Briolat

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.