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Pea-sized mini brains just developed brain waves for the first time

| | December 20, 2019
brain organoid by erik jepson uc san diego x
Image: UC San Diego
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Mini-brains are just the size of a pea but capable of reproducing key brain functions. They are currently a hot research topic because scientists think they can eventually be a model for neurological diseases.

Now, a recently published paper has found that the mini-brains are indeed capable of developing brain waves. The authors, led by Cleber Trujillo, (and including Dr. Alysson Muotri, whose work on mini-brains in space was previously profiled on Massive), recorded the electrical activity in brain organoids over a period of ten months. Other studies using organoids have generally focused on the first few months of organoid development, because by two months the mini-brains have a defined structure and stop growing. But this new study shows that the longer the organoids were maintained, the more complex their cell composition — and the more intricate the electrical activity of the neurons — became.

Related article:  Regenerating tissues and limbs: What we can learn from the the amazing axolotl salamander's genome

Some philosophers and scientists are concerned about the fact that we might be able to create consciousness in a lab in a not-so-far future. The ethical and moral conversations surrounding these scientific advances should start now.

Read full, original post: Miniature Brains Recently Sent Out Brain Waves for the First Time

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