Scientists Progress in Quest to Grow Muscle Tissue in Labs
- "The researchers
are now working
on optimizing the growth of human muscle tissue, including finding a way to get blood flow to the tissue, the best source of cells and the best growing medium for the cells."
Using a 3-D petri dish,
Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built a completely functional artificial human ovary
that will allow doctors to harvest immature human egg cells (oocytes) and grow them into mature, ready-to-be-fertilized human eggs
outside the body. (In vitro
) The advance could eventually help preserve fertility for women facing chemotherapy
or other medical treatments that may be destructive to ovarian folliculogenesis. Press Release.
. (paywall) [more inside]
We may soon be able to clone Neanderthals. But should we
? An essay from Archaeology Magazine examines the ethical, scientific and legal ramifications. (Via Heather Pringle's Time Machine blog, where essay author Zach Zorich posted a reply and elicited a response.) [more inside]
Scientists Repurpose Adult Cells
- "Scientists have transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal, a startling advance that could lead to cures for a variety of illnesses and sidestep the political and ethical quagmires associated with embryonic stem cell research." [nature abstract
, nature writeup
, audio announcement
More cuckoo than cuckoos: mate two salmon, get a... trout! Just give the parents a sperm transplant.
And the sperm stem cells work in females too:
...Injecting the male cells into female salmon sometimes worked, too, prompting five female salmon to ovulate trout eggs.... The stem cells were still primitive enough to switch gears from sperm-producers to egg-producers when they wound up inside female organs....
Canadian scientists heal spinal injuries with stem cells from skin
(in rats). "Over the course of their research, the team found that skin-derived stem cells share characteristics with embryonic neural stem cells, which generate the nervous system. ... After 12 weeks, the rats were able to walk better, with more co-ordination." [more inside]
Sea Squirt Regrows Entire Body from One Blood Vessel.
Most famous as the creature
that settles down
and eats its own brain
(though that is not exactly correct
), it appears the humble sea squirt
has spectacular regenerative
abilities as well, thanks to regeneration niches packed with stem cells
. All glory
to the sea squirt!
has a somewhat technical but free supplement
on stem cells (alongwith a podcast and related blog
Thou shalt not make scientific progress.
"Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."