Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Living Model Of Basic Units Of Human Brain Created

Date:
March 22, 2009
Source:
Aston University
Summary:
Researchers are developing a novel new way to model how the human brain works by creating a living representation of the brain. They are using cells originally from a tumor which have been 'reprogrammed' to stop multiplying. Using the same natural molecule the body does to stimulate cellular development, the cells are turned into a co-culture of nerve cells and astrocytes - the most basic units of the human brain. The research could lead to improved treatments for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

An isolated astrocyte shown with confocal microscopy.
Credit: Image created by Nathan S. Ivey at TNPRC / courtesy of Wikipedia

Researchers in the School of Life & Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham, UK are developing a novel new way to model how the human brain works by creating a living representation of the brain.

Related Articles


They are using cells originally from a tumour which have been ‘reprogrammed’ to stop multiplying. Using the same natural molecule the body does to stimulate cellular development, the cells are turned into a co-culture of nerve cells and astrocytes - the most basic units of the human brain.

These co-cultures can be developed into tiny, connected balls of cells called neurospheres, which can process information, which, at a very simple level, is the basis of thought. The research process does not require animal testing and since 2007 has been generously supported by the Humane Research Trust.

In the future, the tiny three-dimensional cell clusters, which are essentially very small models of the human nervous system, could be used to develop new treatments for diseases including Alzheimer’s, Motor Neurone and Parkinson’s Disease. These progressive and debilitating neurodegenerative conditions are becoming more common as the population of the UK ages.

Professor Michael Coleman, who is leading the research team, said: ‘We are aiming to be able to study the human brain at the most basic level, using an actual living human cellular system. Cells have to be alive and operating efficiently to enable us to really understand how the brain works.  In the longer term we hope that our procedure can be used to help us understand how conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases develop.  At the moment, most people are only too aware that current treatments for these conditions do not halt their progress and often have side-effects.  We hope that our technique will provide scientists with a new and highly relevant human experimental model to help us understand the brain better and develop new drugs and treatments to tackle neurodegenerative disease ’


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Aston University. "Living Model Of Basic Units Of Human Brain Created." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090317095326.htm>.
Aston University. (2009, March 22). Living Model Of Basic Units Of Human Brain Created. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090317095326.htm
Aston University. "Living Model Of Basic Units Of Human Brain Created." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090317095326.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) — Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) — Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) — Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) — Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins