Mini Human Brains Could Spur Brain Science Breakthroughs
In the 1950’s it was plastics, plastics, plastics. Today its software, software, software including reprogramming the human genome to heal sickness and transform living tissues. With human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells scientists can now create any kind of tissue.
Building Mini Cerebral Organoids
Scientists have recently successfully grown mini human brains from human tissues, coaxing the growth of neuroectoderm cells which are part of the human nervous system, forming complete replicas of a human brain.
According to Juergen Knoblich of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, his team is using mini human brains, about the size of a pea, in order to study the human genetic disorder known as microcephaly in which human brains never reach their full size but stop growing while quite small.
To date, scientists have been using mouse brains as models to help better understand the human brain but there are limitations. This new method promises new and unexpected insights as researchers will now be experimenting with real human brain tissue.