Matt Cardy / Stringer

Scientists Create Human Mini Brains That Might Feel Pain And Think On Their Own

October 23, 2019

Over the years, scientists have made leaps and bounds working with organoids(clumps of tissue or bundles of cells that resemble a miniature version of a human organ), but neuroscientists are beginning to question the ethics of such practice.  

This week in Chicago, a group of researchers spoke at a meeting for the Society for Neuroscience and warned that this work might be going too far.  

"While we have no evidence that this is the case now, there are now very robust protocols that can generate sophisticated activity from these organoids. Thus, I think this is possible in the future," said Alysson R. Muotri, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics/Cellular & Molecular Medicine at the University of California in San Diego.  "I think we need to inform the society about the gradual steps of science, instead of taking people by surprise."

And now, in the development of brain organoids, researchers are finding these "mini-brains" are showing signs of brain activity which means they could potentially gain some form of consciousness and might even be able to feel pain. 

The brain organoids being worked with right now are only about the size of a lentil bean and contain around 2 to 3 million cells.  

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