Are human cell transplants and experiments with brain organoids on animals ethical?

The brain organoids were developed in 2008 from human stem cells that are organized in like a brain a structure that has neurons and that is electrically active. Its size could be as small as a pea that has played a significant role in helping scientists in the field of neuroscience.

However, scientists are conducting experiments on the brain organoids have been questioned with ethical issues over the years. Critics suggest brain experiments organoids and by transplanting human cells into animals, they violate the ethics of the use of living people.

But recently, a U.S. scientific council has given advice on how to monitor this controversial area of ​​neuroscience to prevent it from becoming unethical.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Human cerebral organoids are small balls of human brain cells the size of a poppy to a small pea. Their organization, structure and electrical signaling are similar to brain tissue.

Current rules adequate for brain monitoring Organoids

A report by a U.S. scientific panel showed little evidence that existing rules for monitoring experiments organoids or the animals given human stem cells are appropriate so far, Science Magazine reported. They warned that this could change, especially in research involving primates.

Harvard University neuroscientist and the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine co-chair Joshua Sanes said that “the reasoning of the report is coming out ahead of the curve.”

The NIH and the Dana Foundation, which funds neuroscience research, requested a report from the committee citing the urgency of lifting the moratorium on funding chimera experiments that has existed for five years since 2015 even after the NIH announced it would be lifted.

The moratorium on studies created by animals with human tissues and cells has been suspended not only in brain research, but also in other experiments aimed at growing cells for transplantation in pigs and sheep.

We hope [NIH] will use the report to think about problems, ”he says co-chair Bernard Lo, an ethicist and emeritus professor at the University of California, San Francisco, USA.

According to a report entitled “A field in the making of a human neuron Organoids, Transplants and Chimeras, “the board examined three types of experiments. One is brain – creating experiments organoids; then those experiments involving neuronal transplants; and those that create chimeras.

These are the three main studies being done in the field of neuroscience that have raised concerns that animals either organoids they may have primitive forms of consciousness or feeling, according to Nature.

They were originally focused on studying the human brain and identifying treatments for diseases that the report says are one of the strong moral arguments in favor of this research.

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Public concern about the brain Organoids

The committee said that organoids they have consciousness because they lack many cell types and brain structures, and therefore have no moral stance than other experiments with cultured tissues and do not require new supervision.

According to the current supervision of animal transplant studies, it is said to be adequate for now TeknoDate. But animal care committees may later need to have more expertise if those animals acquire “improved abilities” after the experiment.

Furthermore, the report says that current policies do not require people to donate cells or tissue for certain studies, as some may not want their cells used in neural experiments. Ethical experts are considering whether researchers should contact cell donors or procure new tissues.

The panel also noted that institutions should be careful in formulating their experiments. Words like “mini brains“they exaggerate the possibilities of their models and may cause public concern.

Ultimately, the report says existing brain models organoids they do not pose an ethical dilemma, but that could change in the future.

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See more news and information about Organoids in the Science Times.