There are no boundaries when it comes to human imagination and the real-life applications of it. Science has evolved to the point where any musing of our mind could become a reality. This shouldn’t be bad news if we manage to stick to a moral, ethical perspective over all things we can create. Most of the times we are inclined to lay on the dark side of the perspective and deconstruct the world around us with everything we have built. Progress needs high perspective over growth rather than proving one’s potency in front of nature’s powers. A team of scientists grows human brain in a lab, opening a new pathway of discovery and deconstruction altogether.
Nature is the last bastion of power and if we challenge our forces with those of the natural world, trouble arises. The more so we constantly try to build larger than life structures which could soon prove to obstruct the very road to progress and evolution, although it doesn’t exactly appear so.
Speaking of larger than life structures, or rather imitating life structures, this week, American biologists have announced that they have crossed a critical threshold in science, by growing a human brain and keeping it alive in a laboratory. The classic ways of reproduction seem to have become overrated, slowly leaving place for “synthetic” human structures to take over the world. Whether this will prove to be beneficial for our future or we are heading towards a “Frankenstein” era, the following period is yet to reveal that to us.
The human brain presently preserved in a bell jar is the size of a pencil rubber and it contains 99% of the cells that would exist in the brain of a human fetus. It has its own spinal cord and the beginnings of an eye. It sounds scary, to say the least.
The brain was developed by starting with adult skin cells and coaxing them to revert pluripotent cells, a form of stem cell that can form any other type of cell in the body. These are used to build up specific tissues and then entire organs by recreating features of an in utero environment.
Scientists declare that this could be a breakthrough for medicine, as doctors will have the chance to experiment on new ways of treating brain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Researchers have managed to create a living platform which allows them to study the genetic and electrophysiological underpinnings of neural disorders.
But beyond that lies a question: haven’t we gone too far? Isn’t it that human nature should remain on its classic path of evolution and slow, but constant discovery rather than enter an upward rollercoaster of change and unveilings? What price will we pay for this?
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