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Wiring up brain to body

The nerve cells in the growing embryo eventually form a huge network of nerves called the nervous system. They must wire up the various parts of the brain to the right parts of the body. Long nerve fibres - axons - grow from each nerve cell to its target. At the tip of the growing axon is a growth cone, which detects and follows guiding signals. These signals are a bit like signposts directing a car to its destination.

A nerve cell growing in the brain of a zebrafish.
A nerve cell growing in the brain of a zebrafish.
S Wilson/Wellcome Photo Library

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