Frankenstein or Scientific Breakthrough?

In 1978 the first baby, created outside of the womb, was born. Now scientists have found a way to grow a human brain.

And the miniature brains grown in test tubes at a research lab in Boston have been growing faster than expected.

Scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute found a way to grow brains to try and further their understanding of human brain development.

The test tube organs have been rapidly developing; internally growing more in 30 days than human brains do in months. As more research is done, the better and more accurate these brain models may become.

The test tube baby phenomenon was a success and is now common place in helping couples who struggle to get pregnant conceive. How far will the growing of brains out with the natural process go and how much will it help with research into illness and disease?

Up until now brain activity and tissue has only been able to be studied through imaging such as MRI scans, post mortem examinations and animal testing.

This new tool will be helpful in studying the characteristics of a normal human brain, with the possibility of finding out more about neurological disorders.

The brain is at the centre of the nervous system in almost all mammals and is one of the most complex organs in the body. As well as its functional uses in controlling the body, it also has unexplained properties such as a conscience.

Ethics may become a problem in this research, but for now it is not clear how far this project will go.

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