Contrary to expectations, recent work has indicated that some regions of adult rodent brains contain neurogenic cells. But what about in the adult human brain? On p. 3671, Dennis Steindler and colleagues describe how they derived multipotent astroglial neural progenitors that can proliferate extensively from adult human brain tissue. The researchers took tissue from patients undergoing surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy. By applying culture conditions that favour the growth of neural stem cells, they isolated a population of adult human neural progenitor cells - identified by morphology and the expression of markers such as nestin - from multiple forebrain regions traditionally thought to be non-neurogenic. These cells divided for more than 300 days and generated both glial and neuronal cell types, in vitro and after transplantation into immunodeficient mice. These results therefore suggest that cells in the adult human brain retain considerable developmental plasticity. In addition, the astroglial neural progenitors isolated by the researchers could provide a source of cells for treating neurogenerative disorders or damage to the nervous system.