‘Mad’ Scientists Implant Human Brain Tissue Into Lab Rats

Has the world gone mad? Scientists intentionally create rat/human hybrid 

(Mary Figuers Stallings, Fox News)

Nearly four years ago, scientists in Vienna discovered that they could create blobs of human brain tissue from stem cells. The revolutionary discovery is being used in research on human brain development, Alzheimer’s, and Zika virus.

Scientists have successfully introduced human brain matter into rats. Is this really a good idea?

These human brain organoids existed solely in test tubes, until this past weekend, when two teams of neuroscientists reported successfully implanting these cells into the brains of rats and mice.

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The scientists also observed neurological activity – when they shone a light in the rodent’s eyes, connected neurons lit up in the implanted organoid.

Many are questioning the ethics of this controversial experiment.

“If we give them human cerebral organoids, what does that do to their intelligence, their level of consciousness, even their species identity?”, asked biologist Josephine Johnston of The Hastings Center.

Currently, the restrictions on such experimentation are blurry; the National Institutes of Health has issued no ban on implanting human brain organoids.

“We are entering totally new ground here,” said Christof Koch, president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle in an interview with STAT News. “The science is advancing so rapidly, the ethics can’t keep up.”

At this point, scientists doubt that these organoids could create the feeling of “a human trapped in a rodent’s body,” but some believe that an eventual ‘Frankenstein’ situation is not entirely unlikely.

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