Tiny human brain grown in lab has eye-like structures that 'see' light

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By Clare Wilson

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A brain organoid with eye-like optic cups

Elke Gabriel

Small blobs of human brain grown in a dish have been coaxed into forming rudimentary eyes, which respond to light by sending signals to the rest of the brain tissue.

The pairs of eye-like structures create tissues similar to those in real eyes, including a round lens, which normally focuses an image, and a retina, the patch of tissue at the back of the eye that senses light. In a way, the brain tissue is “seeing” light, says Jay Gopalakrishnan at Heinrich Heine …

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