In a new study, researchers have found a way to make lab-grown brain organoids, or miniature brains, even brainier.
The study, published in the journal Nature, used a technique called directed evolution to select for brain organoids that were better able to develop neurons and form connections.
The researchers started with a group of human pluripotent stem cells, which can give rise to any cell type in the body. They then grew these cells into miniature brains, or brain organoids.
Next, they used a technique called directed evolution to select for brain organoids that were better able to develop neurons and form connections. This technique is often used to improve the function of enzymes or other proteins.
The researchers found that the brain organoids that were best at developing neurons and forming connections were also better at forming synapses, the connections between neurons.
This suggests that the directed evolution technique can be used to improve the function of lab-grown brain organoids.
The researchers say that their findings could have important implications for the use of brain organoids in research and medicine.
Brain organoids are being increasingly used to study the development and function of the human brain. They have also been used to model neurological diseases, such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
The new study provides a proof-of-concept that brain organoids can be improved using directed evolution. This could lead to the development of even more sophisticated brain organoids for use in research and medicine.
In recent years, there has been great progress in the field of making organoids, which are three-dimensional, miniaturized versions of organs. One of the most exciting applications of this technology is the creation of brain organoids, which have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the brain and provide insights into the causes and treatments of neurological disorders.
Now, a new study reports that it has found a way to make brain organoids even more brain-like by adding a key ingredient that is found in the brains of newborn mammals.
The ingredient is a type of extracellular matrix known as laminin, which is a protein that helps to hold cells together and gives them structure. Laminin is found in abundance in the brains of newborn mammals, but it becomes much less abundant as the brain matures.
Researchers found that adding laminin to brain organoids made them more structurally and functionally similar to the brains of newborn mammals. In particular, they found that laminin-treated organoids exhibited more complex patterns of electrical activity, and that neurons in the organoids were better able to form connections with each other.
This is an exciting finding, as it suggests that laminin could be used to make brain organoids that more closely resemble the brains of developing mammals, and that could be used to study neurological disorders.
Importantly, the findings also suggest that laminin could be used to make brain organoids that more closely resemble the brains of patients with neurological disorders, which would be a valuable tool for studying these disorders and testing potential treatments.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.