Mini Brains Grown From Stem Cells Develop Eye-Like Features

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After the cells developed into mini-brains, the optic cups formed 30 days later and fully matured at 50 days. (Elke Gabriel)

Health Editor’s Note: There are two types of stem cells: adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a type of adult stem cell, which are derived from human embryos. The iPSCs are taken from adult human skin or blood cells and then converted into an embryo-like state…..Carol

Mini Brains Grown From Stem Cells Developed Light-Sensitive, Eye-Like Features

by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com

In a new study, researchers remarkably grew miniature brains with a set of eye-like formations called optic cups. The optic cups are precursors to the retina, and its development within the mini organoids resembled the emergence of eye structures in human embryos.

The research could help scientists understand eye diseases, eye development, and differentiation processes, reports Michelle Starr for Science Alert. The study was published this week in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Organoids are small, three-dimensional tissue cultures that can replicate organs. Researchers grow tiny organoids from stem cells, or cells that have the potential to mature into any cell in the body, reports Yasemin Saplakoglu for Live Science. Growing organoids allows researchers to peer into how organs develop and provide valuable insights into how organs could react to specific drugs or treatments.

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