Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh have identified genes, called retrotransposons, responsible for tiny changes in the DNA of brain tissue. They say their discovery completely overturns previous theories about how the brain works. It could also increase understanding of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. The study shows for the first time that brain cells are genetically different to other cells in the body, and are also genetically distinct from each other. The research was carried out in collaboration with scientists from the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Japan and the US. They found that the retrotransposons were particularly active in areas of the brain linked to cell renewal.