Here and there, information flashes thatthe human brain is unique. We know this without the information received from the media, but they constantly cite the results of some studies that additionally confirm this. Based on this information, it can be concluded that the reproduction of the brain is either impossible or extremely difficult at the present stage of the development of science. A group of scientists proved the opposite and was able to grow an almost complete brain in the laboratory.
Organoids of the cerebral cortex were grownlaboratory staff on special chips that could record activity to obtain more accurate data without the need for additional complex work. The risk of material damage that was unavoidable during measurements was also minimized.
Organoid - artificially grown specialized cell structures
Cell growth was maintained for ten months, and during this time, scientists collected a very large amount of interesting data.
- 1 How to grow a brain
- 2 How the brain is active
- 3 How scientists research the brain
- 4 Why do we need an artificial brain
How to grow a brain
The technology for growing organoids givesthe ability to program cells in such a way that a small model of the brain can be grown from them. Yes, these brains turn out to be very small and cannot be a full-fledged organ, as a rule, their size is not larger than a pea, but the model functions almost the same as a real brain.
Such an artificial brain not only contains layers of neurons characteristic of the real brain, but also has an activity that allows us to understand many processes taking place in this fundamental organ.
Here's the thing: Scientists have grown tiny human brains and inserted them into robots
However, to call such an artificiala grown brain is not real. It is only up to a certain point that it can quickly grow and develop the way a real brain develops. After a certain point, he begins to lack oxygen supply, which in a normal situation is provided by blood vessels. As a result, after a certain moment, the artificial brain ceases to reliably reproduce the processes that scientists are studying.
How the brain is active
Initial signs of artificialbrain appear at the end of the second month of growth. Over time, activity becomes more complex, which corresponds to the growth and development of the living brain. Upon reaching ten months of age, the activity of the grown sample is very similar to the activity of the brain of a human embryo 10-16 weeks after conception.
Similar research and brain cultivationcells were carried out earlier, but only now, scientists were able to do it so accurately and accurately that the activity of the grown neurons was similar to that in premature babies. This similarity became possible due to the fact that neural connections were rebuilt over time and, changing their structure, overgrown with a large number of cells and began to communicate with each other. As a result, the “test-tube brain” is similar to the human one not only in a variety of neurons, but also in their electrical activity.
The researchers analyzed 15,990 cells, which belonged to one of the main classes:
- precursor cells
- intermediate cells
- glial cells
- glutomatergic cells
- GABAergic cells
The latter are usually found in the cerebral cortexthe brain of primates, but as the experiment was conducted, the cells not only rebuilt, but their ratio changed. This is characteristic of brain development during adulthood.
How scientists research the brain
To obtain the results of the study, scientists 4 times in 10 months took samples for RNA scanning. So they studied the activity characteristic of different types of nervous tissue.
As mentioned above, organoids were grownon special multi-electrode chips. This is the only way to collect information about neural activity without injuring cells. Chips capture electrical impulses and record them in the form of EEG (electroencephalograms).
The human brain as a result of growing a littlechanges the type of EEG. The bottom line is simple - the older the brain, the less pauses between outbreaks of neuron activity. The chips on which the organoids were grown recorded a similar activity.
To make sure brain activityit is really possible to study on the basis of organoids, scientists tried to learn how to determine their age by EEG. For this, neural networks were called for help, as usual. They were taught to determine the age of a person by EEG, after which they offered to work with the grown samples. As a result, they received additional confirmation that organoids develop in the same way as a real brain. The neural network was especially good at handling more “adult” samples.
Why do I need an artificial brain
Based on the fact that scientists have not just createdartificial brain, which can work like a real one, but also confirmed that the method is not a mistake, we can say that we got an excellent tool for studying our main organ.
If a scientist studies the brain and thinks with the brain, does the brain study the brain? That is, himself?
This method of research will allow to obtainmuch more information without the need to study human specimens. In addition, some research methods that are not applicable to humans can be applied to an artificial brain. You can even create tissues with mutations to study how they affect the development of man and humanity as a whole. At an interesting time we live. Do you agree?