Recent advances provide an increasingly sophisticated understanding of Drosophila CNS development. First, genes have been identified that specify unique neuroblast cell fates. Second, neuroblasts have been found to use a novel mechanism for asymmetric localization of proteins into one daughter cell at mitosis. Third, a gene controlling the choice between glial/neuronal determination has been discovered. And finally, new cell-lineage methods are being used to determine the entire lineage of identified neuroblasts, including axon projections and synaptic contacts.