Stem cells mimic human brain : Nature News & Comment: ...in the latest advance, scientists developed bigger and more complex neural-tissue clumps by first growing the stem cells on a synthetic gel that resembled natural connective tissues found in the brain and elsewhere in the body. Then, they plopped the nascent clumps into a spinning bath to infuse the tissue with nutrients and oxygen...
Under a microscope, researchers saw discrete brain regions that seemed to interact with one another. But the overall arrangement of the different proto-brain areas varied randomly across tissue samples — amounting to no recognizable physiological structure.
“The entire structure is not like one brain,” says Knoblich, adding that normal brain maturation in an intact embryo is probably guided by growth signals from other parts of the body. The tissue balls also lacked blood vessels, which could be one reason that their size was limited to 3–4 millimetres in diameter, even after growing for 10 months or more.
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