Building The Brain With Alysson Muotri


– [Narrator] Inside of each brain there is the possibility to understand how trillions of neural connections come to sense the world, record memories, create an individual, and shape who you are
and who you will become. Can we ever learn how this happens? (soft piano music) (rock music) – Here in my lab at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine
that is what we want to learn. What happens to build the brain? What happens to create a human mind? And how does this process become disorder, giving rise to conditions
like autism, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and degeneration? And how can we intervene and
rescue the mind from disorders, and even restore lost function? – [Narrator] To find these answers these researchers and
a host of collaborators are using a diverse array
of methods and tools. Among them, this very novel device. (fingers typing on keyboard)
(electronic beeping) What you are seeing is
a truly unique robot. (long beeping)
(robot squeaking) Unlike our domestic helper
which has basic instructions programmed from a human source, commands like turn around, go forward, and vacuum, this robot has only one command, walk. But something else makes
it distinctly different. The rate at which it
lurches ahead is controlled, as awkwardly as it is, by signals recorded from
clusters of neural cells. The scientists are growing
these clusters of neurons, because neurons on their own can’t tell us how the whole brain works. And at this stage the neurons
are taking an important step in development, they are
starting to signal in unison. Is this how neurons start
to organize communication in the young brain? Eventually the researchers
hope to send signals from the robot back to the neurons to investigate how signaling develops and helps the brain to organize and grow. The young neurons providing
the signals are special not only because they have
started signaling in unison, they are special because
the clusters they are in are actually self-organized
groups called brain organoids. Because they have many
of the characteristics of a developing brain. These brain organoids are the focus of these researchers many investigations. – One focus is to grow brain organoids from pluripotent stem cells, from individuals who have
neurological disorders. These let us see what
differences there are between normal and abnormal development, and even ways to treat the disorder. Brain organoids also let us see very early brain development. These earliest stages of brain development are when errors that
cause disorders occur. Disorders that will
affect the brain for life. And this is why we are
working with brain organoids, to reveal how a brain is built,
so we can see how it works, how neurodevelopment can go wrong, and how we can prevent that
or fix it when it does. – [Narrator] The researchers
are taking many approaches, from the details of vision to how neurons connect and form networks, to engineering ways to help
organoids become more complex to the differences between typical brains and brains with cognitive disorders, even to growing brain organoids in space to understand autism
and Alzheimer’s disease. – We’ll be visiting with our collaborators to discover the many ways brain organoids will help us achieve these goals. So come with me as we
explore Building the Brain. (rock music)

9 thoughts on “Building The Brain With Alysson Muotri

  1. @1:01 hey ugly more on, piece of shill, autism is caused by How the Gut Microbiome affects the Brain and Mind http://youtu.be/b4CBy0uVqRc?t=613 goat god loving clan of shemen,,, shims like you, big nose gonzo. die alone mofo.

  2. Why didn't he grow some brain cells that would help him to speak with more clear pronunciation? No offense bro.

  3. This is soooooo awesome! I can't help but feel proud othis study being conducted by a fellow brazilian. Thanks, Alysson Muotri!

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