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BRAINS GROWN IN LAB COULD HALT ALZHEIMER'S...

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humble3d

BRAINS GROWN IN LAB COULD HALT ALZHEIMER'S...

 

Tiny human brains grown in lab could one day be used to repair Alzheimer’s damage  

 

Tiny human brains are being grown in the laboratory by British scientists who say they could one day be used to repair damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

The miniature organs are being made from human skin cells, which are transformed into neurons and 3D printed into clusters so that they resemble the structure of the brain.

 

The scientists want to use them as models to test out new treatments or watch the progress of dementia.

 

But they also believe it may be possible one day to grow new brain tissue which can be transplanted back into damaged areas. Although it could never bring back old memories it may stop further degeneration and allow new memories to form.

 

An almost fully-formed human brain has been grown in a lab for the first time, claim scientists from Ohio State University. The team behind the feat hope the brain could transform our understanding of neurological disease.

 

Though not conscious the miniature brain, which resembles that of a five-week-old foetus, could potentially be useful for scientists who want to study the progression of developmental diseases. It could also be used to test drugs for conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, since the regions they affect are in place during an early stage of brain development.

 

The brain, which is about the size of a pencil eraser, is engineered from adult human skin cells and is the most complete human brain model yet developed, claimed Rene Anand of Ohio State University, Columbus, who presented the work today at the Military Health System Research Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Scientists create lab-grown spinal cords


Previous attempts at growing whole brains have at best achieved mini-organs that resemble those of nine-week-old foetuses, although these “cerebral organoids” were not complete and only contained certain aspects of the brain. “We have grown the entire brain from the get-go,” said Anand.

 

Anand and his colleagues claim to have reproduced 99% of the brain’s diverse cell types and genes. They say their brain also contains a spinal cord, signalling circuitry and even a retina.

 

The ethical concerns were non-existent, said Anand. “We don’t have any sensory stimuli entering the brain. This brain is not thinking in any way.”

 

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.

 

Several researchers contacted by the Guardian said it was hard to judge the quality of the work without access to more data, which Anand is keeping under wraps due to a pending patent on the technique. Many were uncomfortable that the team had released information to the press without the science having gone through peer review.

 

Zameel Cader, a consultant neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, said that while the work sounds very exciting, it’s not yet possible to judge its impact.

 

“When someone makes such an extraordinary claim as this, you have to be cautious until they are willing to reveal their data.”


 

If the team’s claims prove true, the technique could revolutionise personalised medicine.

 

 

“If you have an inherited disease, for example, you could give us a sample of skin cells, we could make a brain and then ask what’s going on,” said Anand.

 

You could also test the effect of different environmental toxins on the growing brain, he added.

 

 

“We can look at the expression of every gene in the human genome at every step of the development process and see how they change with different toxins. Maybe then we’ll be able to say ‘holy cow, this one isn’t good for you.’”

 

 

For now, the team say they are focusing on using the brain for military research, to understand the effect of post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
Since you’re here …


 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/18/first-almost-fully-formed-human-brain-grown-in-lab-researchers-claim

 

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nIGHT

OMG! They are using that technology for the wrong reason!

They won't profit much and will only gain profit way too long.

If only they have the brains of someone who understand what this technology is best used for. Damn!

This tech is useful for growing muscles in penises that can later be implanted to the real thing!

Imagine the profit and the HUGE NUMBERS of potential consumers! Wow!

This industry will be in trillions!

I know people who went on to buy penis enlargement products from pills, devices, to creams and exercises (e-)book.

Some even went to surgery!

I think I have talents on product creation. :D

Of course! This comment is pun intended but I could be right on the application though.

Edited by nIGHT

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