Scientists Grow Brain Cells In A Dish

Scientists have announced that they have coaxed all three primary brain cells to grow in tissue cultures from a type of cell found deep in the brain. The researchers speculated that related medical therapies, such as the ability to repair or replace brain cells damaged by head trauma or diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's, could occur within five years. "The field of regenerative medicine is moving so quickly," said Dennis Steindler, who led the research. "New discoveries happen every day, so I would like to offer hope to people with such conditions that they could benefit from related breakthroughs even sooner (than the estimated five-year period)." Steindler, who is executive director of the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute, added, "With the new brain cell technology we have created a method, a protocol and a model that enable us to get stem-like brain cells into a dish, to look at them and to induce them to differentiate." Findings will be published in an upcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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