[Link] First almost fully-formed human [foetus] brain grown in lab, researchers claim

This seems sig­nifi­cant:

An al­most fully-formed hu­man brain has been grown in a lab for the first time, claim sci­en­tists from Ohio State Univer­sity. The team be­hind the feat hope the brain could trans­form our un­der­stand­ing of neu­rolog­i­cal dis­ease.

Though not con­scious the mi­ni­a­ture brain, which re­sem­bles that of a five-week-old foe­tus, could po­ten­tially be use­ful for sci­en­tists who want to study the pro­gres­sion of de­vel­op­men­tal dis­eases.

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The brain, which is about the size of a pen­cil eraser, is en­g­ineered from adult hu­man skin cells and is the most com­plete hu­man brain model yet developed

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Pre­vi­ous at­tempts at grow­ing whole brains have at best achieved mini-or­gans that re­sem­ble those of nine-week-old foe­tuses, al­though these “cere­bral organoids” were not com­plete and only con­tained cer­tain as­pects of the brain. “We have grown the en­tire brain from the get-go,” said Anand.

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The eth­i­cal con­cerns were non-ex­is­tent, said Anand. “We don’t have any sen­sory stim­uli en­ter­ing the brain. This brain is not think­ing in any way.”

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If the team’s claims prove true, the tech­nique could rev­olu­tion­ise per­son­al­ised medicine. “If you have an in­her­ited dis­ease, for ex­am­ple, you could give us a sam­ple of skin cells, we could make a brain and then ask what’s go­ing on,” said Anand.

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For now, the team say they are fo­cus­ing on us­ing the brain for mil­i­tary re­search, to un­der­stand the effect of post trau­matic stress di­s­or­der and trau­matic brain in­juries.

http://​​www.the­guardian.com/​​sci­ence/​​2015/​​aug/​​18/​​first-al­most-fully-formed-hu­man-brain-grown-in-lab-re­searchers-claim