Celia Herrera-Rincon, Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University.
New research from Tufts University biologists shows that the nascent brain shapes normal body patterning and protects against developmental defects while the brain itself is still developing and before the animal shows any behaviors. Without a brain, frog embryos exposed to a teratogen developed an abnormal, curled tail and spine. In contrast, embryos with brains developed normal tails and spines (inset) even after exposure to the same teratogen. Tufts researchers were able to rescue defects by administering treatments already approved for use in humans.