BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

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

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Moulding the Folding

How the brain's folds and ridges form

25 April 2019

Moulding the Folding

If I handed you a napkin beautifully folded into the shape of a swan, would you know how it was made? That’s the challenge facing researchers trying to understand how the infinitely complex folds of the human brain take shape during development. Various competing theories explain their origin. Do outer cells pull in different directions, or do uneven growth speeds cause the bulges? Errors in the folding process can lead to serious illnesses, so understanding the mechanism could have real impacts. To investigate, researchers looked to the mouse cerebellum – a small part of the brain, and a simpler prospect to interrogate. They found that during the first stages of folding, cells in the outer layer (pictured) grow uniformly and faster than inner cells, and with fluid-like flexibility. By revealing this and a previously unknown combination of forces, such as surrounding tensions restricting growth, the researchers are helping unfold the mystery.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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 www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.