Researchers culture brain cells from cadavers

from the ambiguous-significance dept.
Patrick Underwood writes "An ABC News web story describes how scientists revived brain cells from dead people."

According to a press release, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California say the cells grew after they extracted brain tissue from human cadavers and surgery biopsies and put it in petri dishes with chemical nourishment. The study used brain tissue harvested from 23 individuals ranging in age from 11 weeks to 72 years old within 20 hours after death. Cells from each sample grew, but the tissue from older individuals yielded fewer viable cells. The recovered cells had the ability to differentiate into different types of brain cells. The cell types observed include neurons, the cells that form the "wiring" of the nervous system; astrocytes, which nourish and protect neurons; and oligodendrocytes, which insulate neurons with a myelin sheath. The Salk team's report appeared in the 3 May 2001 issue of Nature.

There is also an article on the BBC web site.

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