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Mini Human Brains Have Been Implanted Into the Brains of Rodents

Researchers have grafted human brain organoids into rodent brains — a breakthrough with great scientific promise and immense ethical significance.

Published On 11/10/2017
4:11 PM EST
E E thical debates often accompany major scientific advancements. Consider the 1970s and 1980s, when in vitro fertilization research really took off. In response to concerns about what might constitute life, the scientific community adopted a principle that no one should ever allow embryos in vitro to develop to the point where a brain started to form.
A cross section of a stem cell-derived cerebral organoid where the radial glia stem cells are shown in red, neurons in blue, and the AXL receptors are in green. | Elizabeth Di Lullo
Cross section of a brain organoid used in Zika virus research | UC San Diego Health
A cross section of a human brain showS the inner and outer components of the cerebellum. | In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images