January 15, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources


8 min read

Imagine receiving a smidgeon of thymus gland along with a donated heart or kidney, to fool the immune system into accepting the transplant. Authors of a new study argue that might be possible, based on their new proof-of-principle experiments. The team from the Epithelial Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine lab at the Francis Crick Institute and University College London published their recipe for fashioning of a human thymus from stem cells seeded onto a bioengineered scaffold appears in Nature Communications. The rebuilt thymi …Read More

6 min read

Would you eat lab grown meat? Envision biting into a warm juicy burger with all the trimmings. Lab grown meat intro If you are a burger fan, your mouth may already be watering. Or maybe you prefer steak or bacon? If you are a vegetarian or animal welfare advocate, however, you might be rather disturbed by this imagery, except that burgers these days even at places like Burger King and McDonald’s are more often not made from cows than in past years. Some vegetarians …Read More

2 min read

The idea that we could bioengineer new human body parts to replace old, faulty ones is exciting, and such parts could include limbs, digits, or even entire organs. Such replacements might be produced using stem cells, 3-D printers, and other rapidly evolving, cutting edge technologies. Sci-fi is becoming a reality. Remember in Star Wars when Luke got that new bionic arm? When I first saw that as a kid in the movie theater I thought, “wow, that’s cool!”, and imagined what the future might …Read More

5 min read

Need a new liver, pancreas, or other vital organ, then I’ll 3D print one right up for you…that is in about 10 years. My intern Lakshmi did a great job on her guest piece last week on the promise of 3D printing in stem cell-based bioengineering including organ and tissue production. It’s an incredibly exciting area of biomedical science. In theory in the future we could literally have new organs printed by specialized forms of 3D printers (e.g. see the image of a 3D printer at …Read More

3 min read

Imagine a world in which doctors send microscopic biological machines made by 3D printing—biobots—inside our bodies to heal disease and fix injuries. A few decades ago, this kind of technology was only manifesting as the fanciful gadgets of science fiction movies. For example, the 1966 movie ‘Fantastic Voyage’ featured miniaturized objects performing a range of interesting functions inside the human body. Today, such biobots have become much more than science fiction. In many ways, what was previously envisioned in sci-fi movies has now become …Read More