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Scientist Growing Human Brain Parts To Probe Disease

Update Date: Nov 06, 2015 10:46 AM EST
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One Stanford University scientist is growing different parts of the human brain.

He is studying the "development and root of diseases" such as autism and schizophrenia, according to My Way News.

The trend began in 2011 when there were different labs that actually grew lumps of human brain tissue.

"The idea of taking skin cells, reverting them back to a basic stage of development and then teaching them how to turn into the cells that make up the brain is something we have been dreaming about for some time," said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN. "It is exponentially closer to reality now."

Every brain piece is grown in a petri dish and called organoid, or a miniature form of organs that are used to examine development and disease, according to Science Daily.

"The idea of using these 'mini brains' as a testing ground for therapies could help doctors figure out the best treatments for individual patients as opposed to the 'one size fits all' approach that is often used nowadays," said Gupta.

However, while the cells in these tissue are showing some activity, a fully functioning brain has not been created. These parts actually mimic only a fetal brain.

"It's truly spectacular," said Arnold Kriegstein, a researcher from the University of California who studies the brain. "They start communicating and signaling with each other in a way that starts looking like a developing human brain."

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