(From innovations report). A good place to watch for meaningful trends in science and engineering is infrastructural work - rarely flashy, but always a better measure of progress. In the stem cell field, progress is continuing apace: researchers "developed an economical tissue engineering approach which could offer new possibilities for restoring damaged or lost knee cartilage tissue. ... 'Routine tissue culturing methodologies cannot cope with the scale of cell production required to create world stem cell banks for engineering knee cartilage tissue,' explains Professor Al-Rubeai. His research group has optimised the tissue culture techniques so they can grow more stem cells in vitro which have the characteristics or morphology of in vivo stem cells. This is the first study to factor in economics. A key objective of our work is to develop a model for the biopharmaceutical industry by generating a cell bank using an affordable technique. A 17-fold expansion factor was consistently achieved and large numbers of stem cells for tissue culture engineering were obtained." Cheaper tools mean more experimentation, which leads to more rapid results - which leads to cheaper tools. It's a virtuous cycle that will accelerate progress in medicine capable of tackling aspects of age-related degeneration.