A grain of brain

Brain organoids as an alternative for animal experiments: Video and article in MaxPlanckResearch

November 07, 2018

In January 2017, the Max Planck Society adopted a declaration of principle (White Paper) on the subject of "Animal Experiments in Basic Research". The Max Planck Society emphasises therein the indispensability of animal research but also acknowledges the special responsibility of each individual scientist for the animals used in research and the ethical issues associated with experiments carried out on sentient beings.

With the paper, the MPG set out various measures intended to contribute to enhancing the well-being of the animals and promoting a culture of care for the animals. One measure aims at refining and reducing animal experiments.

Brain organoids are organ-like structures made from stem cells and can be used by scientists to study basic processes in the human brain and the formation of diseases such as Parkinson’s. The brain-like structures from human cells may also substitute for certain animal experiments.

The Max Planck Society now dedicates this promising research from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine an article in their science maganzine MaxPlanckResearch and a short video.

Article in MaxPlanckResearch 4|2018 (PDF, pp. 54-61) more

A grain of brain – an alternative to animal experiments

This video was made under participation of colleagues of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine and shows how three-dimenstional brain organoids from human neurons may substitute for certain animal experiments.
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