Bioengineering a Mouse with Human Brain Cells

A Stanford University researcher has gotten a preliminary go-ahead to create a mouse with a significant number of human brain cells as long as the creature behaves like a mouse, not a human.

A university ethics committee studied a provocative project that transplants human neurons into the brains of mice where, surprisingly, they settle in and feel right at home. The research team, led by Stanford biologist Irving Weissman, has no immediate plans to build a mouse with an entirely human brain. But it remains a theoretical possibility.

Weissman says he doesn’t want to build a smarter mouse. Instead, he is creating a furry test tube to learn more about devastating human diseases such as brain cancer, stroke, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease impairments not easily studied in people.


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