For the first time, scientists have shown that a small cluster of cells in the human embryo dictates the fate of other embryonic cells. The discovery of this developmental 'organizer' could advance research into any human diseases, and it suggests we have more in common with birds than meets the eye.
Previous studies have found an association between two commonly used agrochemicals (paraquat and maneb) and Parkinson's disease. Now a professor has determined that low-level exposure to the pesticides disrupts cells in a way that mimics the effects of mutations known to cause Parkinson's disease. Adding the effects of the chemicals to a predisposition for Parkinson's disease drastically increases the risk of disease onset.