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Growing mini-brains: What are the ethical concerns?

| | September 4, 2013

You’ve probably already heard about the miniature ‘human brain’ grown in laboratory.

The research, involving the growth of cerebral ‘organoids’ from human stem cells, was published in Nature on Wednesday. For some good coverage of the science behind this work, see Ed Yong’s piece here and the FAQ here.

It’s not hard to see why these little blobs have attracted a lot of media attention. It’s a remarkable technique, although growing brain cells in culture is not new. Such ‘brains in a dish’ have been around for some time.

What’s new here is that these organoids grew in 3D, and – all by themselves – started to differentiate into rudimentary brain regions.

Incredible. But is it ethical?

Read the full, original story here: “The Ethics of ‘Mini Human Brains’

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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