Skip to main content

Human Brain Grown In A Lab Could Be Most Complete Yet

Human Brain Grown In A Lab Could Be Most Complete Yet

August 19, 2015 | by Caroline Reid
photo credit: Illustration of human brain. Jezper/Shutterstock.
Scientists may have taken yet another step toward growing a fully-formed human brain in the lab. Even though it is only the size of a pencil eraser, this little brain has a mountain of potential uses for future medical research. The new development was announced at theMilitary Health System Research Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 
There have been other miniature brains developed in the lab in the past. However, Rene Anand of Ohio State University, who presented the work, claimed that this was the most complete model yet. The brain was grown from the skin cells of an adult human and, incredibly, boasts 99% of the genes found in a human fetal brain. It also has identifiable structures such as a cerebral hemisphere, spinal cord and even a retina. (See picture below). The main component missing is a circulatory system – veins and arteries that carry blood.
“It not only looks like the developing brain, its diverse cell types express nearly all genes like a brain,” commented Anand. “We’ve struggled for a long time trying to solve complex brain disease problems that cause tremendous pain and suffering. The power of this brain model bodes very well for human health because it gives us better and more relevant options to test and develop therapeutics other than rodents.”
Although the brain took about 15 weeks to grow, it more closely resembles a five-week-old fetus brain. Even being able to grow a brain to this early stage of human development could be an extremely valuable tool for scientists studying developmental diseases. Tests could check how tissue growth at this early stage is affected by conditions such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's and even trial drugs to combat their effects. 
Anand emphasized the importance of his lab-grown brain for the future of this sort of research. “Genomic science infers there are up to 600 genes that give rise to autism, but we are stuck there. Mathematical correlations and statistical methods are insufficient to in themselves identify causation. You need an experimental system – you need a human brain.”
Obtaining skin cells to grow a brain like this is the simplest part of the procedure. To turn these into a tiny brain, Anand had to prompt the cells to transform into pluripotent cells, or those that have the ability to grow into any other type of cell. Once induced, these cells are then encouraged to become neural cells.
“We provide the best possible environment and conditions that replicate what’s going on in utero to support the brain,” explained Anand when discussing how to influence the development of neural cells.
Although this all seems very promising, researchers have commented that it is difficult to assess Anand's claims without more access to his data, which is currently unpublished while Anand waits for a patent for his technique to go through. 
Zameel Cader, a consultant neurologist at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, told The Guardian that scientists need to be wary. “When someone makes such an extraordinary claim as this, you have to be cautious until they are willing to reveal their data.”
Photograph of the lab-grown brain. Ohio State University.
[H/T: The Guardian]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hidden Wiki

Welcome to The Hidden WikiNew hidden wiki url 2015 http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion Add it to bookmarks and spread it!!!
Editor's picks Bored? Pick a random page from the article index and replace one of these slots with it.
The Matrix - Very nice to read. How to Exit the Matrix - Learn how to Protect yourself and your rights, online and off. Verifying PGP signatures - A short and simple how-to guide. In Praise Of Hawala - Anonymous informal value transfer system. Volunteer Here are five different things that you can help us out with.
Plunder other hidden service lists for links and place them here! File the SnapBBSIndex links wherever they go. Set external links to HTTPS where available, good certificate, and same content. Care to start recording onionland's history? Check out Onionland's Museum Perform Dead Services Duties. Introduction PointsAhmia.fi - Clearnet search engine for Tor Hidden Services (allows you to add new sites to its database). DuckDuckGo - A Hidden S…

Explainer: The nico-teen brain

Explainer: The nico-teen brain The adolescent brain is especially vulnerable to the addictive effects of nicotine BY  TERESA SHIPLEY FELDHAUSEN 7:00AM, AUGUST 19, 2015 Nicotine (black triangle towards center left) tricks the nerve cell (neuron) into sending a message to release more dopamine (yellow dots). Those molecules enter the space (synapse) between one nerve cell and the next. When they get picked up by neighboring cells, this gives users a feel-good high. It also creates the risk of addiction and other health problems.  EMail Print Twitter Facebook Reddit Google+ NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE, ADAPTED BY J. HIRSHFELD Nicotine is the addictive chemical in tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapors. And doctors say the teenage brain is no place for it to end up. Nicotine can reach the brain within seven seconds of puffing on a cigar, hookah, cigarette or electronic cigarette.
The area of the brain responsible for emotions and controlling our wild impulses is known as the prefrontal c…

fix idm integration on chrome

Chrome Browser IntegrationI do not see IDM extension in Chrome extensions list. How can I install it? 
How to configure IDM extension for Chrome?Please note that all IDM extensions that can be found in Google Store are fake and should not be used. You need to install IDM extension manually from IDM installation folder. Read in step 2 how to do it.

1. Please update IDM to the latest version by using "IDM Help->Check for updates..." menu item

2. I don't see "IDM Integration module" extension in the list of extensions in Chrome. How can I install it?

Press on Chrome menu (arrow 1 on the image), select "Settings" menu item (arrow 2 on the image) and then select "Extensions" tab (arrow 3 on the image). After this open IDM installation folder ("C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Download Manager" by default, arrow 4 on the image) and drag and drop "IDMGCExt.crx" (arrow 5 on the image) file into "Extensions" page opened in…