Thursday, August 20, 2015

Breakthrough: scientists grow first human brain

Scientists at the Ohio State University have successfully grown a complete human brain ever developed in a laboratory. The brain although the size of the average pencil-eraser, has about 99% of the genes present in the brain of a human foetus.

Professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology at Ohio State, Rene Anand siad:
“The brain organoid, engineered from adult human skin cells, is the most complete human brain model yet developed. It not only looks like the developing brain, its diverse cell types express nearly all genes like a brain.”

The developed model only lacks the vascular system. A spinal cord, all major regions of the brain, multiple cell types, signalling circuitry as well as a retina are all existent in the model.

According to said Professor Julian Savulescu, this development has the potential to rapidly accelerate the speed of neuroscience research. “Well it’s potentially very exciting for people with neurological diseases which are essentially incurable. The great hope is that when a stroke knocks out a quarter of your brain or you have a traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis, this brain tissue that could be grown from your own skin cells could be transplanted back to correct the defects of stroke or Alzheimer’s disease."