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DateDate: 2-09-2019, 06:07

Scientists have grown mini-brains for robots.
Yes, you read everything correctly. Scientists have really grown small brains, which are cellular structures that emit brain waves. To catch neural activity, they were placed in a spider-like robot which was sent into space. These small brains are tiny cellular structures that perform specialized functions. They are called organoids. Organoids include ribosomes, chromosomes, mitochondria, and other components of cells. In the laboratory of the University of California, scientists turned human skin cells into stem cells, and then ensured that the organelles developed like brain cells in embryos. Has the future really come?
Why grow organoids?
It all started six years ago. It was then that scientists first created the brain organoid from human skin cells. Today they are grown in laboratories around the world. This gives scientists the opportunity to take a fresh look at the earliest stages of the development of the human brain.
The organoids that are now in space, after all the manipulations, turned into balls the size of a pinhead, each of which contains hundreds of thousands of cells of different types. Each of which, in turn, produces the same chemical and electrical signals as the cells in our brain.
NASA sent organoids directly aboard the International Space Station to see how they would develop in zero gravity. They were put in a metal box along with bags of nutritious broth. Experts believe that at this stage, organoids reproduce incredibly fast.
 
But the most interesting thing is that the scientists were able to record simple brain waves coming from organoids. Brain waves are complex patterns of nervous activity. They are created in the brain of an adult by synchronous networks of neurons. Specific brain patterns appear when we dream or indulge in memories.
Scientists recorded the brain waves of these tiny brain organoids and also found that as they mature, the changes in the waves resemble changes in the developing brain of premature babies. Does this raise a number of complex ethical questions for researchers, do you think? Let's discuss this in our Telegram chat.
Brain transplant in a robot
Lead author of the study, Dr. Priscilla Muotri, and her colleagues are testing various ways to stimulate organoids so that they can develop more complex neural networks. In one experiment, they placed the organelles in a small spider-shaped robot. The computer translated the electrical activity of the organoid into instructions, upon receipt of which, a small arachnid robot began to move its feet.
 
To understand that he was approaching the wall during movement, the robot used sensors that determine its location. The computer transmitted these signals to the organoid in the form of electrical pulses.
To date, scientists can not yet say whether these experiments will affect the further development of organoids. Read even more dizzying stories on our channel in Yandex.Zen.
Secrets of the human brain
As you know, the brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Scientists are still wondering about many aspects of his work. And that is why organoids are so attractive - these relatively simple neural balls mimic some characteristics of a full-fledged brain. However, a new study published Thursday in Cell magazine suggests organoids may have a more complex structure than previously thought.
When electrical stimulation improves brain activity for the mentally ill: scientists find the answer
The data obtained may be a sign that scientists are approaching the ability to generate at least partially conscious life in the laboratory. If so, neuroscientists will have to face a serious ethical dilemma - continued experimentation may mean the creation and destruction of a self-conscious, human-like life.
Many scholars are skeptical of such assumptions, but the author of the study encourages his colleagues to think carefully about what they can create, albeit inadvertently. Do you think organoids have consciousness?