Creepy Mini Brains Grow Eyes

Scientists Stunned When Lab-Grown Brains Develop Eye Structures

( – It sounds like it could be the opening scene of a horror movie — a brain is growing while suspended in fluid in a jar on some shelf in a laboratory when suddenly eyes start to pop out [cue blood-curdling screams]. An award-winning Hollywood director/producer involved in several movies and TV shows in the genre tweeted what might be the perfect reaction to the news of it actually happening.

In reality, the news is far less dramatic because these are the results a group of researchers at the University Hospital of Düsseldorf, Germany, were trying to achieve. Using stem cells from adult patients, a team led by Jay Gopalakrishnan managed to coax stem cells into becoming a number of body parts — including rudimentary “mini-brains.”

According to Smithsonian Magazine, they then grew optic cups, which “are precursors to the retina [which] resembled the emergence of eye structures in human embryos.” This experiment allows researchers to gain insight into how the human eye develops during pregnancy. They hope this will eventually lead to better treatment for patients who develop retinal diseases.

So, if one wants to watch mutant brains taking over the world — which might be better than the brains that are currently running Earth — they’ll be sorely disappointed. But if someone who lacks sight wants to watch Alien v. Predator, they may be able to watch it at some point in the future.

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