A Research Blog

In our final Research Story of 2016, we shift our attention to neuroscience and ask Associate Professor Wang Hongyan, Interim Director of the Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders Programme at Duke-NUS, for what she thinks is the biggest research story of 2016 to impact neuroscience research. Her pick, a home-grown story literally, is that of the midbrain organoid developed in Singapore by a team from Duke-NUS, A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore and the National Neuroscience Institute.

Making Mini-brains

NBD 2016How does your brain interface so seamlessly with the world? …retain memories? …learn? …determine your personality? And, where does it all go so wrong with neuropsychological disorders? Due to the complexities of the brain and difficulties in accessing human brain tissue for research, these questions have eluded scientists for a long time. Now, researchers are a step closer to answering these questions, by growing brain organoids in the lab. Brain organoids are essentially mini-brains grown in a petri dish, and show remarkable similarity to human brains with the same neural cell populations, 3D architecture and connectivity.

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