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Miniature brain in a dish reveals an outsized secret about autism

Miniature brain in a dish reveals an outsized secret about autism

Scientists hoping to uncover the origins of autism have grown a passel of miniature proto-brains in a lab, using reprogrammed skin cells to rewind the clock to the brain's earliest days of development. From these small creations have come potentially big insights into autism, a diabolically complex disorder. Peering into the "organoids" they created -- clusters of embryonic brain cells smaller than one-tenth of an inch across -- the authors of the new research were able to observe that as the autistic brain is under construction, it overproduces the brain cells that act to quiet the cacophony of neural activity in the brain. The result, compared with a typically developing...

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