A radical technique that makes mature cells act like stem cells is growing a mini brain from tissue I donated. One day it could produce whole organs for transplant

Last week, I was told my other brain is fully grown. It doesn’t look like much. A blob of pale flesh about the size of a small pea, it floats in a bath of blood-red nutrient. It would fit into the cranium of a foetus barely a month old.

Still, it’s a “brain” after a fashion and it’s made from me. From a piece of my arm, to be precise.

I do think of these brain organoids as ‘mine’, although not with any sense of ownership or pastoral duty

Related: Nobel prize in physiology or medicine 2012: as it happened

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