Stem cell-derived ‘organoids’ help predict neural toxicity

Sept. 21, 2015 Confocal microscopy image illustrating long-range organization for neurons (green) and nuclei (blue) within a developing neural construct. Photo: Michael Schwartz A new system developed by scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison may provide a faster, cheaper and more biologically relevant way to screen drugs and chemicals that could harm the developing brain. Reporting in the Sept. 21 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the team describes a new approach for predicting developmental neurotoxicity that uses stem cells to model features of the developing human brain that could be targeted by toxic chemicals or drugs. The research also is important to addressing growing concerns about the rising incidence worldwide of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and the…


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