Ratman: Human Brain Cells Grown In Rats

Scientists have transplanted human brain cells into the brains of baby rats, where the cells grew and formed connections.

It’s part of an effort to better study human brain development and diseases affecting this most complex of organs, which makes us who we are but has long been shrouded in mystery.

“Many disorders such as autism and schizophrenia are likely uniquely human” but “the human brain certainly has not been very accessible,” said said Dr. Sergiu Pasca, senior author of a study describing the work, published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Approaches that don’t involve taking tissue out of the human brain are “promising avenues in trying to tackle these conditions.”

The research builds upon the team’s previous work creating brain “organoids,” tiny structures resembling human organs that have also been made to represent others such as livers, kidneys, prostates, or key parts of them.

To make the brain organoids, Stanford University scientists transformed human skin cells into stem cells and then coaxed them to become several types of brain cells. Those cells then multiplied to form organoids resembling the cerebral cortex, the human brain’s outermost layer, which plays a key role in things like memory, thinking, learning, reasoning and emotions.

Scientists transplanted those organoids into rat pups 2 to 3 days old, a stage when brain connections are still forming. The organoids grew so that they eventually occupied a third of the hemisphere of the rat’s brain where they were implanted. Neurons from the organoids formed working connections with circuits in the brain.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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