Uzquiano A, Arlotta P. 2022. Brain organoids: the quest to decipher human-specific features of brain development. Current opinion in genetics & development. 75:101955. Pubmed: 35816938 DOI:S0959-437X(22)00064-8


The development of the human brain occurs largely in utero over long periods of time and is thus experimentally inaccessible; therefore, tractable experimental models are needed. Human brain organoid have emerged as powerful model systems to investigate human-specific features of brain development. Focusing on the cerebral cortex, here, we discuss how brain, and more specifically cortical, organoid models have newly enabled discovery of aspects of progenitor biology and cortical-cell diversification that are unique to humans. We foresee that as advancements in organoid generation increase the complexity of these models, more complete replicas of the brain will empower future studies investigating higher-order aspects of brain biology, toward an understanding of the unique processing capabilities of the human brain.
Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Dr. Arlotta is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation and assembly of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls how we sense, move and think. She integrates developmental and evolutionary knowledge to investigate therapies for brain repair and for modeling neuropsychiatric disease.

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