A ‘brain’ from outer space: How to make a brain from scratch

We’re not talking about a new technology here: We’re talking about an old one, and it’s being revived in the name of a new medical research project.

Researchers in Switzerland have successfully made a 3D brain out of an old plastic model of a human brain from outer-space.

The project, led by researchers at the University of Geneva, involved a plastic sphere that they made from the bones of the skull of a chimpanzee.

And it’s a pretty good one, according to lead author Jens Bremner, a professor of anatomy at the university’s Centre for the Study of Human Brain Structure and Function. 

“The brain in this case is quite fragile,” he told New Scientist.

“We wanted to see how it might be damaged.” 

Bremner and his colleagues put the newly made brain on display at a recent neuroscience conference in Zurich, and they had a good time, with the chimp-brain-like structures and structures made of polystyrene (PS).

They also made an artificial nose and mouth.

“It looks pretty similar to what you’d expect from a brain,” said Bremneder. 

The research team used a technique called phase contrast microscopy to observe the structure of the brain.

They then used the microscope to create a model of the newly-created brain, and the result is an accurate representation of what the brain would look like. 

It was then put on display in a special lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, to see if the results would hold up in an animal model. 

While they’re not ready to make the same kind of brain out on a live animal, they do plan to make it out of a variety of materials, and in the future they plan to build a computerized version of the human brain.

Bremners team hopes to have their work published in a peer-reviewed journal by the end of the year. 

Image: University of Guelph