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Darkman

Mini Brain Grown In A Bottle By Scientists

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Mini Brain Grown In A Bottle By Scientists

Stem cell scientists have grown a miniaturised "brain-in-a-bottle" which they hope will lead to treatments for neurological and mental diseases.

The tiny hollow "organoids", measuring three to four millimetres across, have a structure similar to that of an immature human brain including defined regions.

But the scientists insist they are still a long way from building a working artificial brain - or even replacement parts for damaged brains.

The goal was to produce a biological tool that can be used to investigate the workings of the brain, better understand brain diseases and test out new drugs.

One expert said the "audacious" discovery could lead to the future creation of a simple animal-like brain that could be linked to sense organs and had the ability to learn.

Sky

I was going to post the story about human life originating from Mars, but this brain story caught my eye....

Imagine the reality of creating a living brain, a sentient being. And linking it to sensory organs.... this is essentially creating a living being of our own design. A step beyond a Frankenstein created from used parts. It's fascinating stuff, and I'm all behind medical progress and testing. But this story has some concerning implications. If they create a living and learning brain, linked to sensory organs so it can experience the world around it, I don't know how I feel about the morality of it.

Imagine a brain with intelligence on a par with dolphins or apes, or even a human, but trapped in a laboratory presumably to be eventually killed. This brain would learn, experience life, and could communicate.We're getting into the realms of creation of life itself, and the killing of it on a whim.

Anyway, a very interesting story :ph34r:

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Plenty of lab experiments already take place with living, breathing, feeling animals - including apes. Many are killed at the end of them.

I guess if we can live with them then we can put up with these mini-brains (unless you have objections to stem cell research, of course).

Beyond study, certainly areas of potential for computing and augmentation of existing brains - whether diseased or not. That really would be pushing the boundaries of what it means to be human. I think we can all appreciate that a whole brain transplant, even if it contained all of our memories etc - would be a clone of us rather than actually us. If you did it piecemeal though - giving sufficient time for us to adapt and build new/duplicate existing pathways ourselves - maybe we remain us.

I wonder how much redundancy there is in the human brain - do we have copies of key memories/experiences - could we be induced to create them?

An area with a strong yuck factor I think - that would probably change.

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create a brain?...nah, the stemcells did that....next they'll be claiming they created life itself.

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