“How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism” BY SHELLY FAN

Article featured in SingularityHub

“cerebral organoids” are the brainchild of Dr. Madeline Lancaster, a neuroscientist at Cambridge who is interested in how our brains develop as embryos.

In a study published last week in Cell, a team from Yale School of Medicine used the technique to glean insight into why autism occurs in some people without a clear genetic cause.

Within a month, it was apparent that organoids created from people with autism overproduced one type of neuron that acts to dampen the chatter of normal neural activity. This small change upset the delicate excitatory and inhibitory balance in the developing brain, and may in part cause the faulty wiring behind autism’s behavioral symptoms. Further sleuthing led the scientists to a single gene responsible for the glitch.

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