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Stem Cells

The lab-grown burger was served with the usual trappings for presentation purposes

If Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University ever opens a burger bar, you might want to take a close look at the prices before you order. On Monday, at a press conference in London, a burger made by Post and his team was served that cost a cool €250,000 (about US$330,000). The reason? The beef that went into making it never saw a pasture and the people in the white coats who handed it to the chef weren't butchers, but bioengineers.  Read More

Previously decellularized rat kidney after reseeding with endothelial cells  (Image: Ott L...

About 100,000 people in the United States alone are on the list to receive a kidney transplant and 400,000 are kept alive by kidney dialysis machines. Unfortunately, there are only 18,000 kidneys available each year in the U.S. and those lucky enough to receive one face a lifetime of immunosuppressant drugs. To increase the supply and remove the risk of tissue rejection, a team of researchers led by Harald Ott of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine has built an experimental bioengineered kidney that not only produces urine, but has been successfully transplanted into a rat.  Read More

New research may result in bio-engineered replacement teeth which are generated from a per...

New research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre and King's College London, UK, may result in bio-engineered replacement teeth which are generated from a person’s own gum cells. Though artificial whole-tooth implants are currently available to people who are missing a tooth, such implants are unable to fully reproduce the natural root structure of a tooth. This means that in time, friction caused by eating and other movement of the jaw can result in a loss of jaw bone.  Read More

A nerve cell, with the myelin sheath shown in brown (Image: Shutterstock)

Myelin is a fatty tissue that covers the fibers between nerve cells – it’s not unlike the insulation on electrical wiring. When that tissue is compromised, the cells have difficulty communicating, and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis can be the result. If the myelin of MS sufferers could be regrown, then it’s possible that the disease could be cured. Recently, a team of scientists successfully regenerated myelin in mice, using human skin cells that were reprogrammed into brain cells.  Read More

A implantable material made from a blend of plastics has been developed to regrow damaged ...

Over the past several years, a number of research institutes have been exploring the use of implants made from material with a scaffolding-like structure, as a means of regrowing bone at severe injury sites. Both MIT and Tufts University, for instance, have been working on collagen-based materials. Now, England’s University of Southampton has announced the development of a new type of bone-growing substance, made from plastic.  Read More

The SIRT3 protein molecule that appears to play a central role in regulating aging and lon...

The quest for longer and healthier life, if not immortality, has been part of the human experience since we evolved the ability to recognize the total annihilation of individual death. Our understanding of the biology of aging at the molecular level is advancing so rapidly that it appears inevitable that another decade or two of life will be enabled before long. A new step in what may be the right direction has just been published by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.  Read More

Dorian Gray move aside, scientists have discovered that the immortal hydra polyp might hel...

The tiny freshwater polyp Hydra is a remarkable creature. It does not show any signs of aging and appears to be immortal due to the fact that it contains stem cells capable of continuous proliferation. Researchers from Kiel University have examined this phenomenon and uncovered an important link to the aging process in humans that could lead to the development of advanced rejuvenation therapies.  Read More

A new understanding of eye cells may lead to a treatment for blindness (Photo: Shutterstoc...

There could be new hope for people facing vision loss due to conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa or wet age-related macular degeneration. Scientists from the University of Southampton have discovered that easily-gathered corneal cells may be able to take the place of degraded retinal cells, thus preventing or curing blindness.  Read More

Micrograph of endothelial tissue grown from blood-derived pluripotent stem cells

There are ongoing moral and ethical battles concerning the farming and application of human embryonic stem cells in medical research and applications. Without judging any of the viewpoints represented in the fracas, it is clear that the stem cell world would be a friendlier place if the harvesting of embryonic stem cells were not necessary. Toward this goal, Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a reliable method to turn the clock back on blood cells, restoring them to a primitive stem cell state from which they can then develop into any other type of cell in the body.  Read More

Hydroxyapatite nanoparticles, seen within the MIT-designed film coating

Probably the simplest way to describe an artificial hip would be to say that it’s a ball attached to a stem. The stem is often fastened to the open end of the femur using a glass-like polymer known as bone cement, while the ball takes the place of the original hip bone’s ball joint, rotating within a corresponding implant in the socket of the pelvis. Although problems can occur at that ball-and-socket interface, they can also result when the bone cement cracks, causing the stem to detach from the femur. Scientists at MIT, however, have developed a new type of nanoscale film coating, designed to keep that from happening.  Read More

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