Friday, August 30, 2013

Researchers Grow Human Brains in a Lab

A team at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has succeeded in growing miniature human brains...
The team, led by Dr. J├╝rgen Knoblich, started by analyzing human stem cells – a cell type that has the capacity to change into any other type of cell found in the body. Specifically, the scientists were interested in discovering what growth conditions are required for such cells to differentiate into various types of brain tissue cells.

Once those conditions had been identified, stem cells were used to create neuroectoderm, a layer of cells which is the “starting material” from which all components of the nervous system (including the brain) are derived...

After spending 15 to 20 days in the reactor, the neuroectoderm fragments had formed into a piece of continuous brain tissue, known as a cerebral organoid. (more)