Human brain organoids implanted into rats could offer new way to model disease

Listen to the latest science news, with Benjamin Thompson.

In this episode:

00:45 Implanted brain organoids could offer new insights into disease

Brain organoids — lab-grown, self-organizing structures made of stem cells — are used in research to better understand brain development and disease progression. However, these structures lack connections seen in real brains, limiting their usefulness. To overcome this, a team has now transplanted human organoids into the brains of newborn rats, showing that these implanted organoids respond to stimuli and could influence the animals’ behaviour.

Research article: Revah et al.

News and Views: Human brain organoids influence rat behaviour

09:20 Research Highlights

The subtle timing shift that gives jazz music its ‘swing’, and why hydrogen power could be a cost-effective way to reduce heavy industry emissions in China.

Research Highlight: What gives jazz its swing? A delay makes the difference

Research Highlight: Hydrogen could help China’s heavy industry to get greener

11:46 The exoskeleton boot that makes walking more efficient

Wearable robotic exoskeletons that aid or enhance movement are fast becoming a reality, but there are challenges to overcome — to work best these devices frequently require careful calibration for their user using specialist equipment and time in a lab. Now, a team have created exoskeleton boots that can help people walk faster and more efficiently by learning and adapting to the wearer’s gait as they walk. They hope that this approach could be used to develop personalised assistive devices in the future.

Research article: Slade et al.

Nature Video: The robot boot that learns as you walk

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