TINY human brains have been grown in a dish in what could herald a breakthrough in conditions like Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.
The brain cells have formed similar circuits to those of a two-month-old fetus, now giving scientists an opportunity to examine how the brain and any diseases develop.
Researchers at Stanford University first grew two forebrain circuits, before going on to the next step of growing a mini organ over nine months.
Scientists will now be able to watch how the brain develops, with it hoped that the “entire movie” of a brain’s growth will be able to be monitored in the lab, rather than just snapshots.
The process could be the first step towards being able to grow an entire human body in the lab, with researchers hoping that the “thrilling science” will be able to provide insights into brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.