The consequences of somatic mutations in neurotypical human brains remain a central unaddressed question in medicine.

To better examine this topic, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recently assembled an atlas of brain copy-number variants (CNV) with support from Cell Microsystems devices.

Their atlas revealed that the frequency of neocortical neurons with complex karyotypes varied widely among individuals — but that such variability was not readily accounted for by tissue quality or CNV detection approach. They found, rather, that age is anti-correlated with CNV neuron frequency, with fewer CNV neurons observed in older individuals than young individuals.

These and other findings from their research were published in an article appearing in the January 22 edition of Cell Reports, available online.