Scientists have successfully generated human motor nerve cells in a study which looks set to further research into motor neurone disease (MND).
Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge and Cardiff used human embryonic stem cells to create a range of motor neurons - nerves which pass on messages from the brain and spine to other areas of the body.
This development will hopefully help scientists understand more about MND, such as why some are more prone to the disease than others.
Professor Siddharthan Chandran of the University of Edinburgh said: "Motor neurons differ in their make-up, so understanding why some are more vulnerable than others to disease is important for developing treatment for this devastating condition."
Meanwhile, a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, has found that the role of a protein known as TDP-43 is significant in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common form of MND, often known as Lou Gehrig's disease.