‘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

  • Family Searches for Missing Man

    Family Searches for Missing Man

    An Aransas Pass family is searching for their loved one who went missing in Brooks County. His family says it's the last thing he said on the phone that has them fearing for his life. 20 year old Eric Samora reportedly called his family two weeks ago saying he was running for his life through the brush near Falfurrias and didn't know where he was at. That's when the phone went dead. Anayeli Ruiz spoke with the young man's family and has the story.More >>
    An Aransas Pass family is searching for their loved one who went missing in Brooks County. His family says it's the last thing he said on the phone that has them fearing for his life. 20 year old Eric Samora reportedly called his family two weeks ago saying he was running for his life through the brush near Falfurrias and didn't know where he was at. That's when the phone went dead. Anayeli Ruiz spoke with the young man's family and has the story.More >>
  • Military Matters: Mission Smile

    Military Matters: Mission Smile

    Making sure our men and women in uniform are in tip top shape, also means making sure they have good dental hygiene. In our Military Matters report, Sarah Acosta introduces us to the team from the Navy Dental Corps stationed at NASCC. The Navy Dental Corps celebrated its one hundred and second birthday this month. The organization was established in 1912 and nowadays there are more than twenty-five hundred active reserve duty corps personnel. There are three Navy Dental Corps officers at t...More >>
    Making sure our men and women in uniform are in tip top shape, also means making sure they have good dental hygiene. In our Military Matters report, Sarah Acosta introduces us to the team from the Navy Dental Corps stationed at NASCC. The Navy Dental Corps celebrated its one hundred and second birthday this month. The organization was established in 1912 and nowadays there are more than twenty-five hundred active reserve duty corps personnel. There are three Navy Dental Corps officers at t...More >>
  • "A Lady Never Reveals her True Age" -Lena Coleman-Wilson

    "A Lady Never Reveals her True Age" -Lena Coleman-Wilson

    Lena Coleman-Wilson has dedicated her life to helping others. This weekend, Lena, who has done so much for the community was in for a surprise of her own. A birthday surprise that is! Coleman-Wilson said, "my husband really put one over on me. He didn't tell me nothing about this. It's just so beautiful. I feel like i'm floating on air, i'm just so happy." Coleman-Wilson, is the former president of the NAACP and volunteer to several other local organizations over the years. Folks from all ov...More >>
    Lena Coleman-Wilson has dedicated her life to helping others. This weekend, Lena, who has done so much for the community was in for a surprise of her own. A birthday surprise that is! Coleman-Wilson said, "my husband really put one over on me. He didn't tell me nothing about this. It's just so beautiful. I feel like i'm floating on air, i'm just so happy." Coleman-Wilson, is the former president of the NAACP and volunteer to several other local organizations over the years. Folks from all ov...More >>