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UK scientists grow living human 'brain' to fight Alzheimer's

Scientists in Birmingham have created a living human 'brain' – a development which they reckon could help them discover a cure for diseases like Alzheimer's.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 27, 2009 16:46 IST

Scientists in Birmingham have created a living human 'brain' – a development which they reckon could help them discover a cure for diseases like Alzheimer's.

Aston University researchers have created tiny bundles of cells which act like a mini nervous system, reports Sky News.

Professor Michael Coleman, who is leading the research, said: "We are aiming to be able to study the human brain at the most basic level, using an actual living human cellular system.

"Cells have to be alive and operating efficiently to enable us to really understand how the brain works."

The study involves altering cells from a cancer tumour and making them behave like brain cells.

According to scientists, the fake brain cells will give them a greater understanding of how real brains work.

This, in turn, could significantly further research into conditions which affect the brain.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "It is still very early days, but in the future this interesting research could lead to a useful tool for investigating dementia."