- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Scientists at Brown University say they are creating 25-cent miniature brains the size of a pencil dot and using them for medical research.

Molly Boutin, the lead co-author of a recently released study on the so-called mini-brains, tells WLNE-TV (https://bit.ly/1ioznBK ) scientists take apart brain cells from rats and restructure them into tiny three-dimensional balls. The brains produce electrical signals and perform the basic functions of a real brain, but are not capable of thinking.

Mini-brains require about two weeks to become fully functional.

Researchers say the brains let them test the effects of different drugs and diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. They hope the affordable process will one day allow for patients to receive their own personalized specimens.

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Information from: WLNE-TV, https://www.abc6.com

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