At least that’s the warning that a team of researchers from the Green Neuroscience Lab expect to deliver on Monday, during a national conference for the Society for Neuroscience, according to The Guardian.
While a mini brain has never been shown to be conscious or reactive, the researchers believe the risk is too great to keep using it.
Mini brains give researchers the opportunity to study the development and conditions of neurology in something more human-like than an animal model. While they do not reach a human brain’s complexity, scientists have been able to create ever more complex mini brains for their research.
“We’re already seeing activity in organoids that is reminiscent of biological activity in developing animals,” Elan Ohayon, the director of the Green Neuroscience Laboratory, told The Guardian.
It’s that progress that has the neuroscientists concerned.
“If there’s even a possibility of the organoid being sentient, we could be crossing that line,” said Ohayon. “We don’t want people doing research where there is potential for something to suffer.”