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Biologists at Heidelberg University announced on Tuesday that nerve cell centralisation does begin in multicellular animals.

While searching for the origin of human brain, Heidelberg researchers gained new insights into the evolution of the central nervous system (CNS) and its highly developed biological structures.

Using certain genes and signal factors, the team led by Prof. Thomas Holstein of the Centre for Organismal Studies demonstrated how the origin of nerve cell centralisation can be traced back to the diffuse nerve net of simple and original lower animals like the sea anemone.

"This can be considered as the birth of centralisation of the neuronal network on the path to the complex brains of vertebrates," said Holstein.

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The research results also indicate that the origin of a central nervous system is closely linked to the evolution of the body axes, said Holstein.

The results of the research will be published in the journal "Nature Communications".

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