‘Mini Brains’ Built From Stem Cells - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

‘Mini Brains’ Built From Stem Cells

Posted:

Courtesy ABC News

Talk about thinking small.

Viennese researchers have built tiny brains from human stem cells — a feat that could change the study of neurological diseases.

The mini brains, which measured about 4 millimeters from front to back, had "discrete" but "interdependent" structures just like real brains, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. They developed out of heaps of human-skin-cells-turned-stem-cells, known as induced pluripotent stem cells.

Learn more about induced pluripotent stem cells.

The small cerebrums allow for "new insights into the development of human brain disorders," according to the researchers.

"They allow for the testing of therapies against brain defects and other neuronal disorders," author Madeline Lancaster of the Austrian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Molecular Biotechnology said in a statement. "Furthermore, they will enable the analysis of the effects that specific chemicals have on brain development."

Click here to see other medical marvels!

Lancaster and colleagues have already used the brainy technique to study microcephaly – a rare neurological condition in which a person's head is smaller than normal. Skin cells taken from someone with microcephaly grew into smaller mini brains than those taken from someone without the disorder, leading the researchers to suspect that stem cells stop dividing and differentiate prematurely in people with the condition.

"A primary goal in neuroscience is to understand the roots of human neurological disease," the researchers wrote in their study, noting that mouse models of microcephaly have failed to capture features of the human disorder. "Our findings suggest that we can use this in vitro culture system to model aspects of human neurodevelopment and neurological disease and hopefully provide novel insight into the pathogenesis of these disorders."

Read on ABC News

  • Parents Speak Out About The Arrest Of Former King High School Teacher

    Parents Speak Out About The Arrest Of Former King High School Teacher

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:18 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:18:18 GMT
    29-year old Tanya Ramirez, the former King High School teacher accused of having sex with a male student, turner herself into authorities Tuesday morning. She was booked and charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student, a felony charge.Ramirez was accused of having a relationship in the spring semester of this year. She was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into the allegations, and eventually terminated.More >>
    29-year old Tanya Ramirez, the former King High School teacher accused of having sex with a male student, turner herself into authorities Tuesday morning. She was booked and charged with improper relationship between an educator and a student, a felony charge.Ramirez was accused of having a relationship in the spring semester of this year. She was placed on administrative leave during an investigation into the allegations, and eventually terminated.More >>
  • Family Speaks Out Following Devastating House Fire

    Family Speaks Out Following Devastating House Fire

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:14:28 GMT
    A family of six in Alice is trying to see what they can salvage after they were forced out of their home by a fast moving fire early Tuesday morning.The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Newberry in Alice. The investigation into the cause of the fire points toward the home's air conditioning unit, where the fire may have began.The American Red Cross is assisting the family, who are currently staying with relatives. However, a benefit is in works for this weekend. 3News will...More >>
    A family of six in Alice is trying to see what they can salvage after they were forced out of their home by a fast moving fire early Tuesday morning.The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of Newberry in Alice. The investigation into the cause of the fire points toward the home's air conditioning unit, where the fire may have began.The American Red Cross is assisting the family, who are currently staying with relatives. However, a benefit is in works for this weekend. 3News will...More >>
  • Special Report: How Portland Is Dealing With Crime

    Special Report: How Portland Is Dealing With Crime

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:10 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:10:57 GMT
    Portland, up until recently, had an unblemished reputation for being on the safest cities in Texas. But then came a couple of headline grabbing violent crimes that threatened to ruin that image. Our Mike Dasilva explores in a Special Report.More >>
    Portland, up until recently, had an unblemished reputation for being on the safest cities in Texas. But then came a couple of headline grabbing violent crimes that threatened to ruin that image. Our Mike Dasilva explores in a Special Report.More >>