Science: Brains in a Test Tube

The fastest, most intricate computer ever built is a primitive machine compared with the human brain. One human brain cell, for example, may be "wired" to as many as 60,000 other cells. In an effort to unravel and understand the complexities of the brain, scientists in a number of laboratories are literally reconstructing the living brain tissue of lower animals in test tubes.

Pioneered by Biologists Aaron Moscona of the University of Chicago and Malcolm Steinberg of Princeton, the technique is deceptively simple. After taking tissue from the fetus of, say, an unborn mouse, researchers coax the individual cells apart with the...

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