Scientists recreate in vitro the brain, like the brain of the embryo. This will allow further research to identify the nature and mechanisms of development of diseases such as autism and schizophrenia. This study is a new step in the study of embryology, will expand the understanding of the origin and development of the human nervous system, reports The Guardian.
Grown brain consists of several layers of nerve cells and their structure resembles the brain of the embryo. In the creation of a clone of the brain are pluripotent cells that are in the development process can turn into any tissue, including nerve. This discovery will allow further study the development of other organs of the fetus, which will give impetus to the development of new drugs, more humane methods of testing drugs.
Previously, scientists have already been recreated copies of human organs: eyes, liver, and pituitary gland. New work by Austrian scientists from the Institute of molecular biotechnology has been devoted to the ability of stem cells to form neural tissue of the brain on the gel matrix, which is similar in features with fetal conditions. After a few months on the basis of the cells formed a semblance of a brain the size of 3-4 mm. Such models are similar to certain parts of the brain or spinal cord, they have the same functional value. You can distinguish the spinal cord, the ventral division, the embryonic retina, writes Madeleine Lancaster.
Jürgen Knoblich, co-author, says that the functional activity of the newly formed cells are fully confirmed. During the analysis of such growths of nerve tissue can be traced Parallels with disease microcephaly, when the size of the brain of the newborn is minimal. As it turned out, this happens because the early differentiation of stem cells of the fetus in the womb.
The scientific community believes that this study will provide a breakthrough in the development of cellular technology and genetic engineering, allowing a deeper understanding of the scheme of the origin of the nervous system, to develop innovative ways of treating various pathologies. In the future, researchers plan the cultivation of a large number of such models for testing drugs that affect the brain. Unfortunately, the brain, grown in vitro, are not able to reach the "adult" sizes for the absence of the vessels on which to nervous tissue supplied with blood with nutrients and oxygen.