This image shows one of the human fetal tissue-derived minibrains, with stem cells (gray) surrounding nerve cells (color-coded from pink to yellow, depending on their depth relative to the outside of the minibrain).  (Image credit: Princess Máxima Center, Hubrecht Institute/B Artegiani, D Hendriks, H Clevers)

For the first time, scientists have grown cerebral organoids — three-dimensional, lab-grown “minibrains” — from human fetal brain tissue.

The new organoids grew to the size of a grain of rice and contained many types of cells that self-organized into complex 3D structures. The researchers also triggered the growth of brain tumors within the minibrains and tested the tumors’ response to existing cancer drugs. 

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