Scientists have successfully cultured a number of parts of the human brain in the laboratory, and this issue is causing intense controversy.
According to the Guardian , a series of experts have warned that many neuroscientists cultivate human brain tissue in the lab and implant them into animal brains, an action known as “crossing the line.” red”.
Culturing human brain tissue from stem cells is one of the hottest fields in modern neuroscience. Small in size like a pea, these tissues produce brain waves, similar to those in premature babies.
Many neuroscientists believe that artificial human brain tissue has the potential to revolutionize medicine, because it allows experts to study the human brain on an unprecedented level.
|Cross section of an artificial human brain tissue. Photo: EPA.|
Some expert groups have used artificial human brain tissue to study diseases such as schizophrenia, autism, fetal brain atrophy when the mother is infected with Zika virus. They expect to be able to delve into brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
However, this is also the reason why the experiment created the brain from stem cells ethically controversial. When does the artificial brain develop consciousness, and so is it different from experiments on living people?
At the annual meeting of neuroscientists held on October 21, many participants warned of the ethical boundary of this field of science.
“If it is possible, even very small, that a lab-created brain can develop consciousness, then we are crossing the red line. We don’t want to conduct research that can cause hurt, “said Elan Ohayon, director of the Green Neuroscience Research Institute in California, USA.
|The brains are made from stem cells after 10 months of culture. Photo: UCTV.|
Ohayon and his colleagues think that rigorous monitoring and supervision is needed to ensure that the human brain tissue created does not develop consciousness and suffer from pain in experiments.
On the other hand, Hank Greely, an expert at Stanford University’s research center, said that the artificial brain is currently not developed to a moral concern, but this is something that can be considered in the future.
“It would be a problem if we found out that the artificial brain reacts negatively to the stimuli, in other words they can feel pain. I think no one has come close to that level yet,” Mr. Greely commented.
In a recently published study, researchers at Harvard University said brain tissue from stem cells could develop cortical cells as well as retinal cells. Artificial brains cultured for up to 8 months can develop their own neural networks and respond to light.
Another study conducted at the Salk Academy in San Diego showed that an artificial brain can be implanted into a mouse, even though the brain can draw blood from the circulatory system.