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3D Human Cells Grown 138

SR_melb writes writes to tell us that Melbourn researchers have, for the first time, managed to grow three dimensional human cells. This bypasses previous achievements of only being able to create two-dimensional constructions like skin. From the article: "Professor Wayne Morrison, from Melbourne's Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery has led the breakthrough. He says it's a world first and predicts the discovery will ultimately lead to the creation of human organs, including parts of the heart, by using the patients' own stem cells. Such a scenario, says Professor Morrison, would reduce the problem of immune rejection which is often associated with organ transplants."
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3D Human Cells Grown

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  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @02:42PM (#15489188) Homepage Journal
    I've been growing 3D human cells for over 30 years.

    If you've been growing them for over 30 years - they're 4D ;-)
  • again and again (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mapkinase (958129) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @02:56PM (#15489300) Homepage Journal
    Article does not have any indication to a peer-reviewed publications. My attempts to Pubmed it did not succeed.

    No comments until the reference will pop up.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @02:59PM (#15489331) Homepage Journal
    Britain's 19th Century industry was so obsessed with railroads that it missed the chance to grow into cars. Britain has an auto industry, but it was easily eclipsed by the American car startups like Henry Ford.

    America's 20th Century industry was so obsessed with drugs that it's missing the chance to grow into stemcells. Not just from complacency, but from actually outlawing stemcell research. American medical domination of the world can be eclipsed by foreign startups without such handicaps.

    The US laws against stemcell prohibit the public investments in the basic science that the medical industry requires to take risks and develop the science. We have entrepreneurs, but they're both averse to medical science and drawn to the indemnities and subsidies available to drug research instead. Abroad there is much less inhibition, which is an opportunity. So stemcell research isn't stopped worldwide, though it is slowed, and less available to the Americans who should be able to dominate it too, instead of being left behind.
  • by Khomar (529552) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @03:20PM (#15489470) Journal
    America's 20th Century industry was so obsessed with drugs that it's missing the chance to grow into stemcells. Not just from complacency, but from actually outlawing stemcell research. American medical domination of the world can be eclipsed by foreign startups without such handicaps.

    No, what was outlawed was the use of embryonic stem cells not stemcells altogether. There are other sources of stemcells than just those from unborn babies. The fear was that by allowing the use of embryonic stem cells to be used is research, we would be justifying abortion and therefore setting a precendent that it is okay to end human life for medical research. To take a completely utilitarian view on this is to challenge our very identity as humans, and I do not fault anyone from examining this issue closely even if it means halting "progress".

    This is far from an academic or theological debate. Nearly every civilization that has collapsed throughout history can link its decline to an abandonment of the principles on which it was built. Once you make the choice that there is such a thing as a life not worth living, where do you draw the line? What if we determine that by using one person's stem cells, another person can extend their life by another 100 years? Should we start harvesting the poor to provide those stem cells for the more fortunate? Maybe we just start taking them from people that we don't agree with politically. Since the moral barrier of valuing all human life has already been crossed, what would stop us?

    It doesn't sound good to halt progress, but when that progress can lead to a serious degradation of ethics, caution is the far better choice.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @03:32PM (#15489544) Homepage Journal
    A. Some (substantial) stemcell research has been prevented by law.
    B No one ever mentioned any guarantee.

    "B" is the most interesting part of your response. My post explicitly mentioned how outlawing government funds has made the risky research less attractive for investors. And the part where you argue against "everybody acting like stem cells will provide the cure for everything" completes the picture. Not "everyone", not "provide the cure for everything". That's the kind of hyperbolic strawman that people use to defend the US government's unwise policy against some important stemcell research.

    By making those illogical arguments defending the US policy, you of course are acting against some kinds of stemcell reserach. Denying that you are doing so is also part of the same political posture that brings us these bad policies, while pandering to the least logical part of our population.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @04:35PM (#15489995) Homepage Journal
    1. scaffolding - to build on (e.g. a heart is only useful if it has the correct dimensions and actions)
    2. tissue variation and connections - if it doesn't connect well, and has specialization on the wrong side (e.g. the inside of a tissue is frequently different from the outside - just think of skin cells at various layers
    3. nerves - no nerves in a growth state means we can't knit it together
    4. comparable blood vessels, veins, arteries, capilliaries - for the blood you'll be needing
    5. tissue compatability - this is critical, most organ transplants have major problems in their non-compatability - rejection is not a good thing, this is why everyone looks for the Holy Grail of Cloned Tissue (since it would automatically be compatable)

    Oh, and until we see this done in the lab by three different research teams, it doesn't mean we can do it in real life. Just think of South Korea and their fake-out for why we're so skeptical. Although the canine experiment done there looks like it might be viable, and is therefore an advance.

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