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ZEIT Science Forum

Welcome by Frauke Hamann, ZEIT Stiftung, Photo: Phil DeraThe panelists Andreas Sentker, Barbara Krahé, Wilhelm Schmid, Kristina Musholt, Ulrich Blumenthal, Photo: Phil DeraBarbara Krahé, Photo: Phil DeraWilhelm Schmid, Photo: Phil DeraKristina Musholt, Photo: Phil DeraPhoto: Phil DeraQuestions of the audience, Photo: Phil Dera
Welcome by Frauke Hamann, ZEIT Stiftung, Photo: Phil Dera
The panelists Andreas Sentker, Barbara Krahé, Wilhelm Schmid, Kristina Musholt, Ulrich Blumenthal, Photo: Phil Dera
Barbara Krahé, Photo: Phil Dera
Wilhelm Schmid, Photo: Phil Dera
Kristina Musholt, Photo: Phil Dera
Photo: Phil Dera
Questions of the audience, Photo: Phil Dera

The ZEIT Science Forum is a series of discussion events. Founded in 2001, it aims to open controversial contemporary issues to critical scrutiny. The forum takes place at the Leibnizsaal of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science.

Brain from the laboratory - The New Possibilities of Breeding Organs

Brain, intestines and kidneys, liver and lungs - what to do if vital organs stop working or failing? For a few years researchers have been able to breed small human organs from stem cells. This miniature model called organoid was developed by one of the pioneers of stem cell researchers Jürgen Knoblich. With his colleagues in Vienna, he has now created a deadly cancer in a brain organoid. This can be used to test the effect of new drugs in order to possibly rescue patients with such a brain tumor.

Also patients on the waiting list for a donor organ hope for replacement by organoids. If it were possible to breed transplantable organs from them, all the problems of transplantation medicine could be eliminated: their production would be ethically unproblematic, they could be produced as needed, and they would not be rejected. Meanwhile, almost all human organs grow as organoids in the labs. However, the breeders of organs are still pretty much at the beginning. So far, it is often simple tissues that are bred. Can these be equipped with blood vessels or nerve fibers in the future and are there general risks in dealing with the artificial organs? Above all: In which time frame will the research findings be helpful for the patients?


  • Dr. Thomas Breidenbach, managing director of the Bavarian Region at the German Foundation for Organ Transplantation
  • Dr. Jürgen Knoblich, senior scientist and Deputy director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
  • Dr. Julia Ladewig, Developmental brain pathologies at the University of Heidelberg and group leader at the Institute for Reconstructive Neurobiology at the University of Bonn


  • Ulrich Blumenthal, Editor "Forschung aktuell", Deutschlandfunk
  • Andreas Sentker, Head of the department of science, DIE ZEIT
  • 70 years WHO - How Healthy is the World?
  • Expertise in a Crisis
  • Language.Power.Politics
  • Defend the Enlightenment! Science in a Post-Truth Age
  • Man and Maschine - The Power of Algorithms
  • The Art of Renunciation
  • „Anywhere – Nowhere“ Excellence Initiative: Where is the journey taking us?
  • Miracle Plant, Designer Babies: The Rebirth of Genetic Engineering - unmatched precise, unmatched secure?
  • Strength evolves out of crisis
  • BIG-DATA: The end of our autonomy and privacy?


13 November 2018
7 pm
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities
Markgrafenstraße 38, 10117 Berlin



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    Taubenstraße 23
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    +49 (30) 27 87 18-0


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