Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Science Implant Human Brain 'Organoids' Inside Rats and Mice

Article Written By: Kyle Tam


 According to a new report by STATNews, scientists have implanted human brain cells into lab rodents, with many of the transplants successful. In one case, the rodent survived for at least two months, according to the summaries of the two papers presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington, D.C.
 Four years ago, scientists in Vienna discovered that human brain tissue could be created from stem cells. Since then, scientists have been able to make human brain organoids produce new neurons and develop the six layers of the human cortex, the region in the brain responsible for advanced cognitive functions.
 The previously unreported experiments are notable in how the human organoids implanted into mice connected with the rodent's circulatory system, marking the first-ever brain vascularization in a rodent. Furthermore, mature neurons from the human brain organoid sent axons into “multiple regions of the host mouse brain,” reported by team lead Fred Gage of the Salk Institute.
 Although the extent of the organoid's growth is limited to the tiny confines of the rodents in the study, the experiment has garnered international attention, with many questioning the ethics “of whether you are creating something human-ish that you have to take seriously in terms of according it dignity and respect — and figuring out what that even means,” said bioethicist Hank Greely of Stanford University.

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