Growing Eyes, Glands, and Brain Tissue

The Guardian looks at the activities of one Japanese research group: "In the latest of a series of remarkable studies, researchers from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan report that embryonic stem cells grown under special conditions can spontaneously organize themselves into a partial pituitary gland that is fully functional when transplanted into mice. ... Over the past four years, Yoshiki Sasai and his colleagues of RIKEN's Organogenesis and Neurogenesis Group have developed a novel cell culture technique for growing embryonic stem (ES) cells in floating three-dimensional aggregates. ... In 2008, Sasai's group showed that ES cells grown in 3D cultures can recapitulate the earliest stages of neural development to self-organize into functional brain tissue, which integrated into existing neural circuits when transplanted into the brains of newborn mice. And earlier this year, they reported ES cells can also generate embryonic eyes with retinas. ... Growing complete, fully functional organs for transplantation is the holy grail of regenerative medicine, one which is being pursued by many groups of researchers around the world. ... Sasai's group is at the forefront of these efforts. Their work shows that ES cells can spontaneously form complex three-dimensional structures when grown under the right conditions, in the absence of a scaffold. With each new study, they demonstrate the generation of increasingly complex structures, and the pituitary gland is the most complex one yet."



Future's gonna be absolutely amazing :)

Posted by: Nick at December 5th, 2011 3:54 PM
Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.