These rats have human cells in their brains. They may help scientists understand autism and schizophrenia.

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These Stanford lab rats have human cells in their brains. Here’s why.

Stanford researcher Sergiu Pașca believes his work will eventually help scientists learn more about the psychiatric conditions that plague more people worldwide than any other health issue.

In Dr. Sergiu Pașca’s research lab at Stanford University, the resident rats have clumps of human cells in their brains.

Blow on a rat’s whiskers and the human cells on the opposite side of its brain light up. Teach a rat that it can get water from a spigot only when its human cells are activated and it will learn how in about two weeks – it’s proof, Pașca said, that the human cells have integrated into its brain and are performing an important function.

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