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10 of the weirdest experiments of 2021

Every year, scientists undertake some truly baffling experiments, and 2021 was no exception. From growing mini-brains with their own eyes in petri dishes to reanimating 24,000-year-old self-replicating zombies from the Siberian permafrost, here are the absolute weirdest scientific experiments of the year.

Growing miniature human brains with their own eyes

Scientists grew brain organoids with optic cups. (Image credit: Elke Gabriel)

In August, a group of scientists made news that was equal parts fascinating and horrifying when they announced they had successfully lab-grown a tiny human brain with its own pair of eyes. They made the Cronenberg-esque mini brain, called an organoid, by transforming stem cells into neural tissue, then stimulating the cells with chemical signals to form tiny rudimentary “optic cups” filled with light-sensitive cells. 

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