The brain grew in the body of a German woman in the summer of 1878 in the Swabian Alps of the Danube. The woman lived there with her husband in a medieval city called Ulms. The husband was a cheerful man 31 years old who had an electrical business near their apartment. She was 11 years his junior,she kept house and played the piano when her chores were done.
No one alive knows how Pauline Einstein conducted herself in its crucial years.This was the 1st child after 2 years of marriage,perhaps the brain blossomed while she banged out Beethoven and devoured the local delicacies of sausage,and onion cakes and sweet apple wine.
Hermann Einstein no doubt wished good things for his unborn child,but in all likelihood he did not pray for them.He and his wife did not attend the local synagogue or deny themselves pork. Such customs seemed ancient superstition to him.
Their families were Swabian Jews from southern Germany who had passed down a laissez-faire attitude toward the less practical facets of life,religion included. So while masons erected the tallest church spire in Europe opposite his workshop,Hermann did not contemplate the will of God.
By the 4th week,125,000 cells assembled along the grove in the middle of the neural tube,each an ancestor of the of the some 100 billion neurons that would stun the world.They divided and multiplied 50,000 per second. The they drifted forth,like pioneers in a fluid wilderness,to settle the cerebral frontier.
The nerve cells clung to their nursemaids,the glial cells.Chemical instructions zinged back and forth telling each cell where to take its place. For the oldest ones,the journey was short,completed in a single day. With every successive migration from the centre the journey lengthened,with the later ones travelling more that a week to reach the outer edge of the fetal brain.