Oversized and vulnerable

During embryonic development the human brain and gut are made out of the same cell sheet.

The human brain can be traced back to the central nervous system of worms, a study in 2007 concluded.

Now, tell me what this looks like?


I'm not sure I get what you are saying. Brain & nervous system derive from ectoderm and the gut epithelium mostly from endoderm. See here for a good summary of germ layers in embryology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_layer.

I do think the folding patterns look oddly similar. However, the pattern of brain "folds" is very determined, such that each fold has a specific function and is present in all normal humans, whereas small intestinal folds as best as I can find are predictable only to a certain degree and don't carry the precise specificity of function that the brain folds do.

I'm pretty sure that the way the brain folds develop is quite different from the way the gut folds do. But I'm way out of my expertise here.

Looking around the Interwebs, I think I see where this comes from: I found this sentence, "It turns out that both our gut and our brain originate early in embryogenesis from the same clump of tissue which divides during fetal development. While one section turns into the central nervous system, another piece migrates to become the enteric nervous system" here: http://altmedangel.com/braingutconnection.htm.

The problem is that the sentence says, "our gut and our brain originate ... from the same clump of tissue" while later it correctly says, "another piece migrates to become the enteric nervous system." So, the author is talking about the neural tissue associated with the gut, which I migrates from the same neural crest that forms the CNS and is formed from ectoderm, not the gut itself, which is formed from endoderm.

None of this is to detract from the importance of the enteric nervous system to our well being, or the fascinating way it is connected to the brain.

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