These Scientists Have Implanted Human Brain Cells Into Rats – And Now They Can Control Them

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We have seen many studies where scientists used rats as an experimental object to test their scientific techniques and to date, it has been considered as the most efficient way. In a similar way, researchers at Stanford University have come up with compelling research in which they injected the neuron cells from the human brain into rats in order to manipulate their behavior. Scientists have been seeing this research as a way forward in the world of neuroscience as it is having the potential to initiate and investigate a wider approach. The research, however, is published in the journal Nature.

Coupled with this, our brain is considered as the most complex part of the human body and of course, the most demanding organ to study. But scientists are making valuable research in the field of neurology as they are making successful attempts of developing lab-grown brain organoids and then putting them for maturity. When these brain cells escalate into a maturation stage, they will then be combined with 3D structures that serve the purpose of assembling them. Although the method doesn’t mean that when put into a living being, it will gain consciousness, rather it can be used for a lot of other beneficial applications.

For example, scientists can deploy them to study different diseases related to the brain like epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia, etc. It should be noted that Sergiu Pasca, who is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford School of Medicine proved from his research study that lab-grown brain cells do mature and can make a considerable impact in the research field. He proved this from a 20-month-old lab-grown brain cell under observation and on which the study was conducted. He said in the research paper:

“We’ve been making ever more complicated circuits in a dish using organoids and sophisticated combinations of them, called assembloids. But neurons within these lab dishes are still lagging behind in their development compared with what you’d see in a naturally developing human brain. Numerous challenges – such as a lack of nutrients and growth factors, blood-vessel-forming endothelial cells or sensory input – hinder development in a lab dish.”

Considering these developments, these labs grown brain organoids have been engrossed into 100 young rats that were just two to three days old. Pasca said that the method proved a success as the cells have efficiently matured in the brain of rats and captured around a third of their brain through which their cognitive skills can be controlled. Hence, Pasca said, “This connection may have provided the signaling necessary for optimal maturation and integration of the human neurons. We’ve learned a lot about Timothy syndrome by studying organoids kept in a dish. But only with transplantation were we able to see these neuronal-activity-related differences.”

He further stated, “We can now study healthy brain development, as well as brain disorders, understood to take root in development in unprecedented detail, without needing to excise tissue from a human brain. We can also use this new platform to test new drugs and gene therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders.”

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