Remarkable brain waves are detected in lab-grown mini-brains

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Ricky Joseph

Labs are playing important roles for the future, this time neuroscientists have detected remarkable brain waves in mini-brains grown within these environments. In fact, the professionals measured activity similar to real brain waves in artificially developed organoids while researching a genetic condition that causes seizures.

Such organoids may present usefulness in research surrounding brain development, potential therapies and diseases. Experiments would happen otherwise, because there is no chance of exploring a human (and living) brain in this way.

"The work demonstrates that it is possible to make organoids that resemble real human brain tissue. However, they can be used to accurately replicate certain features of brain function and disease," says neuroscientist Bennett Novitch , of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Image: Reproduction/ Connected Smart Cities

To create microbrains with brain waves, scientists induce cells taken from humans and transform them into pluripotent stem cells. Above all, these cells can develop into a variety of organs and tissues. In addition to these organoids organizing all the neurons, they must repeat the same neural oscillations that occur in the human brain, associated with thelearning, sleep, among others.

Brain waves from organoids resemble those of a real brain

With the identification of brain waves in microbrains grown in laboratories, scientists expect organoids to represent real brains for experiments. In many neural diseases the cells look fine, but the oscillations indicate that something is wrong.

"I hadn't anticipated the range of oscillation patterns we would see," Novitch says. "By learning how to control which oscillation patterns an organoid exhibits, we can eventually model different brain states. "In the case of the abnormal oscillations seen in people who have developed conditions like Rett, for example, adding an experimental drug (Pifithrin-alpha) removed the seizures.

Child diagnosed with 'Rett syndrome' being treated by pediatrician. (Image: Disclosure / Friend Panda)

With this possibility, the organoids probably responded to the treatment, and throughout the process, the brain cells themselves appeared normal, a classic symptom of Rett syndrome. Although the mini-brains with brain waves correspond to the complexity of a human, they could eventually replace animals in scientific studies.

"This is one of the first tangible examples of drug testing in action in a brain organoid," says neurologist Ranmal Samarasinghe , of UCLA. "We hope it will serve as a stepping stone to a better understanding of the biology of the human brain and brain diseases," he concludes.

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Ricky Joseph is a seeker of knowledge. He firmly believes that through understanding the world around us, we can work to better ourselves and our society as a whole. As such, he has made it his life's mission to learn as much as he can about the world and its inhabitants. Joseph has worked in many different fields, all with the aim of furthering his knowledge. He has been a teacher, a soldier, and a businessman - but his true passion lies in research. He currently works as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical company, where he is dedicated to finding new treatments for diseases that have long been considered incurable. Through diligence and hard work, Ricky Joseph has become one of the foremost experts on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry in the world. His name is known by scientists everywhere, and his work continues to improve the lives of millions.