Adding the missing piece: “mini-brain” method now includes important cell type

Although studying brain cells as a single layer in petri dishes has led to countless ground-breaking discoveries in neurobiology, it’s pretty intuitive that a two-dimensional “lawn” of cells doesn’t fully represent what’s happening in our complex, three-dimensional brain. In the past few years, researchers have really upped their game with the development of brain organoids, … Continue reading Adding the missing piece: “mini-brain” method now includes important cell type

UC Davis researchers make stem cell-derived mini-brains that contain blood vessels

Growing neurons on a flat petri dish is a great way to study the inner workings of nerve signals in the brain. But I think it’s safe to argue that a two-dimensional lawn of cells doesn’t capture all the complexity of our intricate, cauliflower-shaped brains. Then again, cracking open the skulls of living patients is … Continue reading UC Davis researchers make stem cell-derived mini-brains that contain blood vessels

Stem Cell Stories that Caught our Eye: Mini-Brains in the Spotlight

Here are the stem cell stories that caught our eye this week. Two research photos really caught my eye this week and they happened to be of the same thing – mini-brains. Also referred to as brain organoids, mini-brains are tiny balls of nervous tissue grown from stem cells in the lab. They allow scientists … Continue reading Stem Cell Stories that Caught our Eye: Mini-Brains in the Spotlight

Caught our eye: new Americans 4 Cures video, better mini-brains reveal Zika insights and iPSC recipes go head-to-head

How stem cell research gives patients hope (Karen Ring). You can learn about the latest stem cell research for a given disease in seconds with a quick google search. You’ll find countless publications, news releases and blogs detailing the latest advancements that are bringing scientists and clinicians closer to understanding why diseases happen and how … Continue reading Caught our eye: new Americans 4 Cures video, better mini-brains reveal Zika insights and iPSC recipes go head-to-head

Brain Models Get an Upgrade: 3D Mini-Brains

Every year, companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google work tirelessly to upgrade their computer, software and smartphone technologies to satisfy growing demands for more functionality. Much like these companies, biomedical scientists work tirelessly to improve the research techniques and models they use to understand and treat human disease. Today, I’ll be talking about a cool … Continue reading Brain Models Get an Upgrade: 3D Mini-Brains

Stem cell stories that caught our eye: mini-brains in a dish, blood stem cells and state funded stem cell research

Here are some stem cell stories that caught our eye this past week. Some are groundbreaking science, others are of personal interest to us, and still others are just fun. Great review of brains in a dish. The veteran Associated Press science journalist Malcolm Ritter produced the most thorough overview I have seen of the … Continue reading Stem cell stories that caught our eye: mini-brains in a dish, blood stem cells and state funded stem cell research

Mini-Brains Help Unlock Autism’s Secrets

Some diseases like sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder, can be traced to a single known genetic mutation. But other diseases like autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are so varied in their symptoms and severity that pinpointing the underlying cause is extremely complicated. People with autism typically have difficulties communicating with the world around them, … Continue reading Mini-Brains Help Unlock Autism’s Secrets

“Brains” in a dish that can create electrical impulses

For several years, researchers have been able to take stem cells and use them to make three dimensional structures called organoids. These are a kind of mini organ that scientists can then use to study what happens in the real thing. For example, creating kidney organoids to see how kidney disease develops in patients. Scientists … Continue reading “Brains” in a dish that can create electrical impulses

Organoids revolutionize approach to studying a variety of diseases

There are limitations to studying cells under a microscope. To understand some of the more complex processes, it is critical to see how these cells behave in an environment that is similar to conditions in the body. The production of organoids has revolutionized this approach. Organoids are three-dimensional structures derived from stem cells that have … Continue reading Organoids revolutionize approach to studying a variety of diseases

Stem Cell Roundup: The brain & obesity; iPSCs & sex chromosomes; modeling mental illness

Stem Cell Image of the Week: Obesity-in-a-dish reveals mutations and abnormal function in nerve cells Our stem cell image of the week looks like the work of a pre-historic cave dweller who got their hands on some DayGlo paint. But, in fact, it’s a fluorescence microscopy image of stem cell-derived brain cells from the lab … Continue reading Stem Cell Roundup: The brain & obesity; iPSCs & sex chromosomes; modeling mental illness