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Researchers grow miniature brains


Researcher scientists in Singapore have recently grown tiny miniature brains in petri dishes in their laboratory. In actuality, they have created small versions of the human mid brain. the 3D created versions of the human brain are, they hope, a serious step toward curing certain brain disorders, especially Parikinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to the research scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore, these created midbrains are fully capable of producing the chemical dopamine which is critical to the brain function with regard to many things including motor control and motivation. One important part of the human brain, a dark pigment called neuromelanin, was found for the first time outside of an actual human brain in a created organoid model.


The scientists were able to create these tiny human brains using stem cells and can now proceed to try and further research into Parkinson’s. Those who suffer from Parkinson’s have brains that are not producing enough dopamine. The human brain, the majority of researchers say, is, perhaps, the most complex of all the human organs yet research into brain disorders as not proceeded as many have hoped simply for a lack of usable human brains to work with.

The researchers are hoping that the future of brain research will involve actual human brains so that animal brains can be replaced in laboratories. One of the lead researchers on the study, Shawn Je of Duke University, said that, “It is remarkable that our midbrain organoids mimic human midbrain development. The cells divide, cluster together in layers and become electrically and chemically active in three dimensional environment like our brain. Now we can really test how these mini brains react to existing or newly developed drugs before treating patients, which will be a game changer for drug development.”

PHOTO CREDITS: Genome Institute of Singapore