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Surgery Left Overs Boost Brain Research

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Study of tissues of human brain left over from surgery help researchers to find new treatments. Scientists collect.

Dr Ed Lein at the Allen Institute has collaborated with local doctors to study left over tissue just hours after surgery with the consent of the patient. Now research is based on the study of animal brains.

“What we are finding is that there are many more types of cells in the human brain than in animal models. Their electrical properties and their anatomy can be significantly different between mouse and human,” said Dr Lein

Dr Lein’s comments have not gone well with geneticist who do their work with mice and rats.     

Prof Robin Lovell-Badge, a medical researcher at the Crick Institute in London, said: “Of course, the brains of mice and humans are quite different, in size, shape, and complexity.They connect to bodies that are also very different. I don’t think I know any mouse neuroscientist who would pretend otherwise. Studies can be carried out on live animals that would be very difficult to do otherwise. We can control variables, such as genetics, age, nutrition, etc, in way that is simply not possible in humans.”

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