Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Scientists 3D-print embryonic stem cells

3D printers already have a firm footing the commercial market, with
more than 20 models available for well-heeled DIYers, and the
technology's appeal isn't lost on the scientific community. A team
at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland has developed a
method for 3D-printing clusters of human embryonic stem cells in
a variety of sizes. Researchers have successfully printed 3D cells
before, but this is the first time that embryonic cell cultures, which
are especially delicate, have been built in three dimensions. Human
embryonic stem cells can replicate almost any type of tissue in the
human body -- and the scientists at Heriot-Watt believe that lab-made
 versions could one day be used to make organ transplants, thereby
rendering donors unnecessary. In the nearer future, 3D-printed stem
cells could be used to make human tissue models for drug testing;
effectively eliminating the need for animal testing. Makes that 
Burritob0t look a little less ambitious, doesn't it?

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