Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | scientists | brains | lab | research

Scientists Grow Mini-Brains With Human Retinas in Lab

Image: Scientists Grow Mini-Brains With Human Retinas in Lab
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By Jason Devaney   |   Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017 08:55 PM

Researchers have grown mini-brains, including one with a human retina, in labs — breakthroughs scientists said could eventually lead to gains in learning about Alzheimer's disease.

According to the Daily Mail, researchers at Stanford University used human skin cells, stem cells, and genes to create what's called forebrains. The mini organs are 1/16 of an inch across and have circuits similar to what a two-month-old fetus has.

A separate research team at Harvard University was able to create a forebrain that contained a human retina, which was sensitive to light just like a human eye.

Professor Paul Matthews of Imperial College London told The Daily Mail, "These reports describe continued advances of the fundamentally important new methods for a generation of self-assembled 'brain organoids.' This is thrilling science."

The development could help scientists study how epilepsy, autism, and Alzheimer's disease develop in the human brain.

The BBC spoke with another scientist last fall about her brain-growing project, in which she had 200 mini-brains developing in petri dishes. The finished product were specimens four millimeters wide with roughly two million neurons each.

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Researchers have grown mini-brains, including one with a human retina, in labs — breakthroughs scientists said could eventually lead to gains in learning about Alzheimer's disease.
scientists, brains, lab, research
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2017-55-26
 

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