Cientistas planejam criar mini cérebro que custa R$ 1

Fazer um mini cérebro pode ser uma alternativa simples e barata para testar novos remédios e estudar células tronco. Mais do que isso, pode ser uma novidade decisiva para diminuir o uso de animais em testes de laboratório.

A ideia surgiu na Universidade de Brown, nos Estados Unidos. O cérebro em miniatura produz sinais elétricos e forma as suas próprias sinapses (conexões neurais), mas não possui funções cognitivas. Ou seja: ele não pensa. Para questões puramente médicas, isso é mais que suficiente.

Com um pequeno pedaço de tecido vivo de um roedor, por exemplo, é possível produzir milhares de mini cérebros, cada um com um terço de milímetro de diâmetro. A receita é simples: isolar as células necessárias, e depois centrifugá-las para que fiquem concentradas. Em moldes esféricos, essa amostra semea culturas de células, e, depois de duas ou três semanas, o tecido cerebral e as conexões neurais já estão formadas. Voilá, você tem um cerebrozinho que custou menos de 1 real para ser feito.

Os pesquisadores sabem que esse não é sistema mais sofisticado existente para testes médicos, mas o baixo custo e a facilidade são os diferenciais do projeto. Nenhum cientista precisa de equipamentos caros e refinados para fazer o seu próprio mini cérebro. É o faça você mesmo da ciência.

Fonte: Revista Superinteressante

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