Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Having a New Thought

“They grew tissue called neuroectoderm – the layer of cells in the embryo from which all components of the brain and nervous system develop.  Fragments of this tissue were then embedded in a scaffold and put into a spinning bioreactor – a system that circulates oxygen and nutrients to allow them to grow into cerebral organoids.  After a month, the fragments had organized themselves into primitive structures that could be recognized as developing brain regions such as retina, choroid plexus and cerebral cortex, the researchers explained in a telephone briefing.”
Recently an editorial was published in MSN News relating to stem cell research and the growing of brain tissue.  Researchers in Austria have succeeded in doing, growing cerebral – organoids or mini-brains.  I chuckled at first, thinking this was some sort of joke, yet as I read on, I found out that there must be some truth to this.  There were no aforementioned negatives about the subject, no protest of “man Pretending he is god”, only the speculation of what can be done with this research into brain tissue development.  What I did not understand is what was meant by, “development of brain tissue in three dimensions.”  The research scientist have already begun researching with a new biological model of how a rare brain condition develops and are even now speculating on models for autism, schizophrenia and depression, which as we know are mental disorders, which affect millions of people worldwide.  I stopped reading for a while to look at pictographs of the human brain as well as various cross-sectional photographs and sketches of the human retina.  I thought as I turned pages and read definitions that I may not be a genius, but I am complicated.
I am neither saddened or glad about such an interesting discovery, though I find myself wondering if this may lead to a future of transplants where damaged sections of the human brain can be grown and implanted to help those especially who are schizophrenic, even such those who suffer from trauma.  Science is reaching a new high and it must be respected, though somewhat costly, leaves us with new lives which will be spared pain and confusion from even such a brain tissue implant and research which is coupled with it.
The researchers were not all speculating on generating an entire brain, yet their goal is to analyze the development of human brain tissue and create a system they can use to transfer knowledge from animal models to human.  “The human brain is the most complex thing in the known universe…both between its numerous subdivisions and the body in general,” said Dean Burnett, lecturer in Psychiatry at Cardiff University.  “Saying you can replicate the workings of the brain with some tissue in a dish in the lab is like inventing the first abacus and saying you can use it to run the latest version of Microsoft Windows…”
Written by Donald S

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