Scientists Have Grown Mini-Brains In A Lab That Went On To Develop Rudimentary Eyes

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Scientists Have Grown Mini-Brains In A Lab That Went On To Develop Rudimentary Eyes

A new scientific paper has revealed that scientists grew mini brains using stem cells in a laboratory that went on to independently develop eyes.


The study was led by neuroscientist Jay Gopalakrishnan of University Hospital Düsseldorf in Germany, who says the research would allow a greater insight into human development and potentially help in the treatment of eye diseases.


The tiny brains were made using human stem cells which are the building blocks of all human structures but should not be thought of as tiny human brains. Instead, these brains are small 3-D structures grown from induced pluripotent stem cells. They do not have the capacity for feelings or emotion, nor could they develop into full humans.


What surprised the scientists was when two orbital cups developed at the sides of the brain, much like we would imagine in a developing fetus. The eyes had corneal tissue and eventually displayed connectivity with the brain itself.


Jay Gopalakrishnan told reporters:


"Our work highlights the remarkable ability of brain organoids to generate primitive sensory structures that are light sensitive and harbour cell types similar to those found in the body. These organoids can help to study brain-eye interactions during embryo development, model congenital retinal disorders, and generate patient-specific retinal cell types for personalized drug testing and transplantation therapies."


The paper itself states:


"Eye development is a complex process, and understanding it could allow underpinning the molecular basis of early retinal diseases. Thus, it is crucial to study optic vesicles that are the primordium of the eye whose proximal end is attached to the forebrain, essential for proper eye formation."


The paper then adds that such tools could be used in the future to build organs for transplantation, saying:


"Optic vesicle-containing brain organoids displaying highly specialized neuronal cell types can be developed, paving the way to generate personalized organoids and retinal pigment epithelial sheets for transplantation. We believe that [these] are next-generation organoids helping to model retinopathies that emerge from early neurodevelopmental disorders."


Many people continue to oppose any use of stem cells even in medical research as they regard it as 'playing God' or operating with forces as of yet not properly understood by humankind.


[h/t: Science Alert]


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Thinking Humanity: Scientists Have Grown Mini-Brains In A Lab That Went On To Develop Rudimentary Eyes
Scientists Have Grown Mini-Brains In A Lab That Went On To Develop Rudimentary Eyes
A new scientific paper has revealed that scientists grew mini brains using stem cells in a laboratory that went on to independently develop eyes. The
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