Category Archives: Science

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Brain Balls

Photo credit: wired.com Sergiu Pasca at Stanford University has kept a mini-brain alive for two full years. Scientists refer to it as a cerebral organoid. Only about 4 millimeters (0.16 in) in diameter, this small clump of human brain tissue was grown in the lab from stem cells. With the right hormones, researchers can coax the tissue to […]

Rabbit

Photo credit: nc3rs.org.uk In 2008, Dr. Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine chaperoned a group of mating rabbits. But this wasn’t any group of rabbits. The males had all been given lab-grown penises, an idea he’d been working on since 1992. Of the 12 rabbits given bioengineered penises, all of them attempted mating. […]

Apple Ears

Photo credit: ctvnews.ca In 2016, Canadian biophysicist Andrew Pelling and his team at the University of Ottawa successfully grew human tissue using apples. Using a decellularization technique to remove existing cells from the apple, they were left with the apple’s cellulose “scaffolding.” By the way, that cellulose is what gives apples their satisfying crunch.[7] Pelling and his […]

Blood Stem Cells

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times Two separate teams of scientists developed novel approaches to creating blood stem cells. One team, based at Boston Children’s Hospital, was led by George Daley. This group started with human skin cells and “reprogrammed” them to become iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells. An iPS cell is an artificially made, universal stem cell. Daley’s […]

Mouse Sperm

Photo credit: sciencenews.org In 2016, scientists at the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences produced viable mouse sperm from stem cells. To do this, they extracted stem cells from mice and introduced them to testicular cells from newborn mice. Qi Zhou and Xiao-Yang Zhao, who led the experiment, also exposed the stem cells to several […]

Hamburgers

Photo credit: qz.com Nicknamed “schmeat,” the first lab-grown burger in the world debuted in London in 2013. It was created in the Netherlands by Dr. Mark Post, a professor of vascular physiology. His goal was to produce meat that didn’t cause “undue animal suffering and environmental harm” as traditional meat sources do. The project took him five years and $325,000 […]

Pig Bones

Photo credit: Live Science In 2016, researchers in the US successfully implanted lab-engineered bones into 14 adult Yucatan mini pigs. None of the pigs rejected the new organs after surgery. Quite the opposite. The blood vessels inside the lab-grown bones seamlessly integrated themselves into the pigs’ preexisting circulatory systems. How was all of this possible?[1] To get […]

Rat Limb

Photo credit: npr.org Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital made news in 2015 when they grew an entire rat forelimb in their lab. It was the first successful project of its kind in the world. The effort was led by Dr. Harold Ott, who also heads the Ott Laboratory for Organ Engineering and Regeneration. Their experiment also resulted in […]