Do vat grown brains dream?
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this.
On the one hand we're talking about a few converted cells that were destined to flake off and be sucked up into a vacuum cleaner to ultimately end up in a landfill. On the other, those cells were turned into a living brain. An actual bit of matter that has the possibility of conscious thought.
What defines us? I can lose an arm or leg or even have a heart transplant and I'm still me. But if I lose even just a part of my brain then I'm not entirely the same person. Does the vat brain think? Is it technically alive? Obviously it's not breathing per se, but it must be functional on some level otherwise there would be no point in attempting to experiment on it.
Yes - I understand that testing on it is better than testing on animal brains; and, yes, for some odd reason I have very few problems with animal testing. However we have now entered pseudo human testing. It's not like they took an actual normally created human brain and liberated it from it's former body. Yet, still, there's something that doesn't sit quite right with this.
Has an ethical commission considered these questions? Is there such a group of heavy thinkers out there that scientists can turn to? If so, I'd love to hear their thoughts on the subject.