The "mini-brains" have survived for nearly a year, but did not grow any larger. There is no blood supply, just brain tissue, so nutrients and oxygen cannot penetrate into the middle of the brain-like structure.Just don't call them "pea brains..."
One of the researchers, Dr Juergen Knoblich, said: "What our organoids are good for is to model development of the brain and to study anything that causes a defect in development.
"Ultimately we would like to move towards more common disorders like schizophrenia or autism. They typically manifest themselves only in adults, but it has been shown that the underlying defects occur during the development of the brain."
The technique could also be used to replace mice and rats in drug research as new treatments could be tested on actual brain tissue.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Scientists grow miniature brains in the lab: