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Miniature Human Brains Implanted in Mice Skulls Grow for Months

Surgery and Surgical Robotics April 18, 2018

The mice behaved just like others of their kind, as far as scientists could tell, and they also looked the same — except for the human mini brain that had been implanted into each rodent’s own cortex, made visible by a little clear cover replacing part of their skull.

The report on Monday by scientists at the Salk Institute is the first publication describing the successful implant of human cerebral organoids into the brains of another species, with the host brain supplying the lentil-sized mini cerebrums with enough blood and nutrients to keep them alive and developing for months. It won’t be the last, as scientists use the approach to understand human brain development and test whether the tiny entities might one day serve as cortical repair kits, replacing regions of the brain that have been injured or failed to develop normally.

It’s “an important technical advance,” said neuroscientist Michal Stachowiak of the State University of New York, Buffalo, who created human cerebral organoids to study schizophrenia, and “an important initial step toward using organoids in regenerative medicine.”

Read More at the Source: Miniature human brains grow for months when implanted in mice skulls

By Sharon Begley

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