Brain in a Test Tube

Researchers grow human brain in a lab

#Science

Thu, Aug 20th, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Guardian, an almost fully-formed human brain was grown in a lab. Reportedly the organ, "which resembles that of a five-week-old foetus," does not think in any way and could be used to " test drugs for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s".

Anand claims to have created the brain by converting adult skin cells into pluripotent cells: stem cells that can be programmed to become any tissue in the body. These were then grown in a specialised environment that persuaded the stem cells to grow into all the different components of the brain and central nervous system.

According to Anand, it takes about 12 weeks to create a brain that resembles the maturity of a five-week-old foetus. To go further would require a network of blood vessels that the team cannot yet produce. “We’d need an artificial heart to help the brain grow further in development,” said Anand.

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