[Link] First almost fully-formed human [foetus] brain grown in lab, researchers claim

by ESRogs 4y19th Aug 201540 comments

7


This seems significant:

An almost fully-formed human brain has been grown in a lab for the first time, claim scientists from Ohio State University. The team behind the feat hope the brain could transform our understanding of neurological disease.

Though not conscious the miniature brain, which resembles that of a five-week-old foetus, could potentially be useful for scientists who want to study the progression of developmental diseases. 

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The brain, which is about the size of a pencil eraser, is engineered from adult human skin cells and is the most complete human brain model yet developed

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Previous attempts at growing whole brains have at best achieved mini-organs that resemble those of nine-week-old foetuses, although these “cerebral organoids” were not complete and only contained certain aspects of the brain. “We have grown the entire brain from the get-go,” said Anand.

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The ethical concerns were non-existent, said Anand. “We don’t have any sensory stimuli entering the brain. This brain is not thinking in any way.”

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If the team’s claims prove true, the technique could revolutionise personalised medicine. “If you have an inherited disease, for example, you could give us a sample of skin cells, we could make a brain and then ask what’s going on,” said Anand.

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For now, the team say they are focusing on using the brain for military research, to understand the effect of post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/18/first-almost-fully-formed-human-brain-grown-in-lab-researchers-claim