Ethical Debate Looms Over Practice of Imbedding Bits of Human Brain into Rats

Updated December 1, 2017

Michal K. Stachowiak, PhD, professor of pathology and anatomical sciences, is asked about mini-brains and the scientific debate over the ethics of implanting human organoid tissue into the brains of mice. He said if organoids grow closer to the size of full human brains, even the size of an infant’s brain, they’d start to require oxygen and nutrients to keep themselves going. But once you’ve gone from a tiny “brain in a dish” to a larger organ with more and more of the stuff inside our skulls, it’s harder not to wonder if some lines should be drawn, he added.