Microscopy image showing patches of magenta and green
Three Autism-Linked Genes Converge on Tweaks to Cells’ Timing
The genes are involved in pacing the development of inhibitory and excitatory neurons. An imbalance in these two types of signaling is thought to play a role in autism.
ABOVE: Paola Arlotta laboratory at Harvard University and Kwanghun Chung laboratory at MIT
Three Autism-Linked Genes Converge on Tweaks to Cells’ Timing
Three Autism-Linked Genes Converge on Tweaks to Cells’ Timing

The genes are involved in pacing the development of inhibitory and excitatory neurons. An imbalance in these two types of signaling is thought to play a role in autism.

The genes are involved in pacing the development of inhibitory and excitatory neurons. An imbalance in these two types of signaling is thought to play a role in autism.

ABOVE: Paola Arlotta laboratory at Harvard University and Kwanghun Chung laboratory at MIT

brain organoids

photo of a researcher looking in a microscope fertilising an egg via intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
Human Stem Cell Research Guidelines Updated
Ruth Williams | May 26, 2021
Removal of the 14-day limit for culturing human embryos is one of the main changes in the revised recommendations from the International Society for Stem Cell Research.
Gene-Edited Organoids Explore Neanderthal Brain Function
Jef Akst | Feb 12, 2021
Using CRISPR to swap an archaic variant of the NOVA1 gene into human stem cells, researchers create organoids with neurodevelopmental differences from those carrying modern DNA.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast - Episode 7
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Jul 29, 2020
Brains in the Palm of your Hand: 3D Organoid Cell Culture
Reduced Adult Neurogenesis Linked with Alzheimer’s Disease
Abby Olena | Feb 1, 2021
Manipulating the production of new neurons can improve cognition in animal models of the disease, raising the possibility that figuring out a way for humans to make more neurons could make a difference for people with dementia.
New Screening Approach Reveals Novel Regulators of Microcephaly
Catherine Offord | Jan 1, 2021
Researchers combine organoids, CRISPR-Cas9, and cellular barcoding technologies to identify genes that influence brain size.
The Many Model Systems of COVID-19
Abby Olena | Nov 4, 2020
Researchers turn to familiar model animals, along with some fresh strategies, to develop countermeasures against SARS-CoV-2 and investigate the biology of infection.
Photos of the Year
Emily Makowski | Dec 26, 2019
From bubbling plants to endangered whales, here are some amazing images from The Scientist in 2019.
Organoids Don’t Accurately Model Human Brain Development
Diana Kwon | Oct 23, 2019
A new study suggests that growing in a stressful environment prevents “brains-in-a-dish” from growing in the same way as their in vivo counterparts.
Human Cortical Organoids Model Neuronal Networks
Abby Olena | Aug 29, 2019
After growing in culture for a few months, the mini-brains produced rhythmic neural activity that strengthened over time.
As Brain Organoids Mature, Ethical Questions Arise
Ashley Yeager | Aug 1, 2018
Inserting human “mini-brains” into rodents has the potential to broaden scientists’ understanding of neurological disease, but raises quandaries about consciousness.
Infographic: How to Make a Brain Organoid
Ashley Yeager | Jul 31, 2018
Mini-brains can be grown in culture or printed.
“Minibrains” May Soon Include Neanderthal DNA
Ashley Yeager | May 14, 2018
Brain organoids engineered to carry the genetic material could reveal how our brains are similar to and different from those of our closest relatives.
Researchers Succeed in Keeping Disembodied Pig Brains Alive
Catherine Offord | May 1, 2018
The organs showed neural activity for up to 36 hours, adding fuel to discussions about the ethics of future neuroscientific research.
Human Brain Organoids Thrive in Mouse Brains
Ashley Yeager | Apr 16, 2018
After implantation, the tissue developed blood vessels and became integrated into neuronal networks in the animals’ brains.
New and Improved Organoids Better Resemble Human Brains
Aggie Mika | Nov 16, 2017
More-sophisticated structures lend new insight into how Zika attacks the developing brain.
Image of the Day: Lab-Grown Brain
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff | Oct 12, 2017
Scientists grew organoids that mimic human fetal brains and infected them with the Zika virus to model its neurological effects.