“Mini human brains” grown from stem cells

Scientists say the technique could be used to help treat common brain disorders like autism and schizophrenia

Topics: GlobalPost, Mini Human Brains, Neuroscience, Brain, Stem cells, ,

"Mini human brains" grown from stem cells (Credit: Nata-Lia via Shutterstock)
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global Post “Mini human brains.” Made from stem cells.

It sounds like something only Dr. Evil could think up.

But scientists in Austria have done it, growing mini brains from the programmable cells in a breakthrough they say could lead to new levels of understanding about the brain and combat inherited neurological diseases like autism and even schizophrenia.

While the brains don’t actually function, the parts are all there, and that’s what’s important.

Researchers used the human stem cells to create a culture in their lab that allowed them to grow into “cerebral organoids” — or mini brains — with several distinct regions.

It’s the first time scientists have been able to replicate brain tissue in three dimensions.

You Might Also Like

Using the organoids, the research team was able to create a biological model of how a rare brain disorder called microcephaly develops.

Scientists say that technique could be used in the future to develop models for more common brain disorders like autism and schizophrenia.

It could also be used to examine the effects of new drugs, instead of experimenting on animals.

Scientists had grown similar versions of the eye, liver, intestine and pituitary gland, but had never been able to produce a replica of the brain.

Experts described the work published in the journal Nature as “audacious”, “exciting” and “stunning”, but said it has its limitations.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...