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Monday, May 30, 2011

Quick Hit: Scientists Grow Brains In Petri Dish


By: Syeed 

Yup you read it right. Brains in a petri dish, pretty crazy ish right? Not only are the brain cells working, they’re capable of storing memories for a short time as well.

The study, carried out at the University of Pittsburg involved taking brains cells from a hippo and a rat and fusing them together with proteins. After being fused the team shut down any inhibitor cells and ran an electrical current through the network of brain cells and successfully replicate some normal brain functions that are akin to memory, albeit to a much lesser extent.

The team, headed up by Henry Zeringue, who is a bioengineering professor at the University’s Swanson School of Engineering, was able to sustain the bust of neural-network activity on the cells for 12 seconds. That’s a pretty long time considering that the natural duration of .25 seconds. Sustaining that activity for such a long time allows researchers to make more extensive observations of how the transmitted neurons held their electrical charge.

Somehow this makes me much less worried about the impeding zombie apocalypse.


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