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    Friday, 30 August 2013 10:07

    Scientists 'grown' tiny brains in laboratory

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    tinybrain-transgenic-mouse-dr4-stem-cell-differentiation-neural-stem-cellsMiniature "human brains" were grown in a laboratory and scientists hope that this will change the understanding of neurological diseases.

    Structures with dimensions of pea achieved the same level of growth as in fetal nine weeks, but are not mental abilities.

    Research scientists published in the journal "Nature" is already used for the understanding of rare diseases.

    Neurologists defined discovery as amazing and wonderful. The human brain is one of the most complex structures in the universe. But scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences were able to reproduce some of the earliest stages of development of the body in a laboratory.

    They used or embryonic stem cells, or cells from the skin of adults to produce part of the embryo that develops into the brain and spinal cord - neuroectoderm. It was placed in the gel droplets to create a scaffold for the development of the tissue, and then in a rotating bioreactor, "food bath", which supplies nutrients and oxygen.

    Cells were able to develop and organize in specific areas of the brain such as the cortex, retina and rarely in primary hippocampus, which is closely related to memory in a fully developed brain of an adult. Scientists are convinced that this is similar to a nearby extent (but far from perfect) brain development of an embryo until the ninth week. Tissues reached a maximum of about 4 mm after two months.

    "Mini brains" survived nearly one year and not more increased because no blood flow and brain tissue only, so that the nutrients and oxygen can not penetrate to the center of the structure resembling the brain.

    "Our organelles are useful for showing the pattern of brain development and to study the causes of the problem in development. Want to move on to the more common disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. They usually occur only in adults, but it was shown that hidden defects occur during brain development, "said one of the researchers, Dr Juergen Noblih.

    The technique can be used to replace the mouse and rat in the study of drugs, since the new drugs can be tested on an actual brain tissue. Scientists have managed to create brain cells in a lab before, but this is the closest model to which one is reached in the creation of a human brain.

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