Scientists working on new therapies to treat brain disorders don’t really have organoid brains to work with, so research often tends to move slowly and circuitously. Yesterday, researchers at Ohio State University reported at the 2015 Military Health System Research Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida their breakthrough of growing the largest complete human brain organoid yet.
Grown from adult human skin cells that were turned to pluripotent stem cells and then into neural tissue, the organoid resembles a brain of a fetus approximately five weeks old. It has nearly all the genes of a complete brain and a structure much like what nature normally creates, including all the major regions, the spinal cord, and internal connectivity.
“It not only looks like the developing brain, its diverse cell types express nearly all genes like a brain,” said Rene Anand, professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology at Ohio State in a statement. “We’ve struggled for a long time trying to solve complex brain disease problems that cause tremendous pain and suffering. The power of this brain model bodes very well for human health because it gives us better and more relevant options to test and develop therapeutics other than rodents.”
The researchers hope that growing such brain tissue for longer periods will yield results that even more closely resemble real brains.
It looks like soon researchers around the world will have a real model of a brain to work with to study all sorts of diseases and therapies to address them.
Source: Ohio State…