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Brainstorming Over Brain Organoids

By Insoo Hyun
This post is part of a series featuring authors who have received the Neuroethics R01 (Research Project Grants) supported by the NIH BRAIN Initiative. These research projects specifically address prominent ethical issues arising from emerging technologies and advancements in human brain research.

Organoids are stem cell-derived 3D structures that self-organize into functional cell types and recapitulate basic organ functions. Organoids of various types (kidney, heart, lung, etc.) can be used to model diseases, screen and develop new drugs, and explore the mysteries of human organ formation and function1.
One rapidly advancing area of human organoid research involves the creation and maintenance of small brain organoids in a dish2. Although the advent of stem cell-based brain organoid research has allowed for realistic modeling of various human brain regions, current protocols do not allow for a full recapitulation of brain function. Currently, brain organoids lack mature…

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