The scientist who grows tiny brains in her laboratory – The Times

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Dr Madeline Lancaster has discovered how to turn stem cells into grey matter. It could lead to treatments for autism and spinal injury

My teenage daughter asks me where Im heading. I tell her Im off to Cambridge to interview a neuroscientist who grows mini-brains in her lab. Wow, my daughter replies. That is so cool.

I recount this to Dr Madeline Lancaster, the scientist in question. She beams and says she thinks its very cool too. In her labs at the Medical Research Councils state-of-the-art Laboratory of Molecular Biology building she cant conceal her enthusiasm as she shows me the mini-brains small curd-like blobs floating in dishes of pinkish fluid. She says wow a lot.

It is these brain organoids (as in organ-like, rather than organism-like) made of living cells that have made Lancaster, 37, a big name in science since she discovered how to create

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The scientist who grows tiny brains in her laboratory - The Times

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