Modern science has been able to achieve trulytremendous results when working with the so-called organoids, which resemble a miniature version of a human organ. At the same time, the ethical component of this issue comes to the fore more and more every day, forcing researchers to think about whether their experiments can cause the biological creations created in the laboratory to suffer because of the possible emergence of consciousness in organoids. But really, can they?
Can man-made artificial organs possess consciousness?
According to the portal newsweek.com, a group of researchers in the field of neurobiology plans to discuss the ethical implications of creating organoids with sensitive tissue, which could possibly endow the creation of scientists with consciousness and the ability to suffer during laboratory experiments. Due to the fact that the last decade has been able to distinguish itself in the successful production of artificially grown miniature organs based on the use of stem cells of living beings, the development of organoids, which were created using human brain cells, can cause problems in the field of bioethics and provoke the development of consciousness in the host participating in cell experiment.
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As is known, from the stem cells of the bodyIn humans, the so-called undifferentiated cells can be successfully isolated, which in laboratory conditions can be converted into various types of tissues and organs, from the intestine to the heart. By and large, their application in bioengineering does not pose a too big dilemma and can be extremely useful for biomedical research for the obvious reason that they bypass the problem of differences between human and animal biology, which impede progress using traditional methods, often involving testing of animals, as well as most of the ethical issues that arise in connection with the need for such studies.
However, if the use of undifferentiatedcells of the body does not give researchers from the field of bioethics any reason for concern, the development of brain organoids and the brain activity found in them raise a large number of questions about whether human brain tissues can reach consciousness at some point, realizing the essence of what is happening to them .
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The brain organelles that exist on thismoment in the laboratory, about the same size as lentils, and consist of about three million cells. In comparison, a full-fledged human brain has billions of cells. Despite this, studies have shown that even created mini-brains can exhibit some activity. So, in August of this year, a team of scientists was able to compare the activity of artificial brains with that observed in premature babies born 25-39 weeks after conception.
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In order to reduce the risk of crossing thinthe distinction between permissive and reprehensible, the authors of the study will insist on careful checks conducted on organoids experiments, in particular, on the implantation of the resulting organoids in the bodies of animals, for example, mice.