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3D Human Cells Grown 138

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the with-the-glasses-to-prove-it dept.
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 grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @01:27PM (#15489033) Homepage Journal


    Intern: Professor Morrison, we've had over 800,000 similar requests for a replacement penis and hand!
    Morrison: Ahhh, yes. News of our discovery must have made it to Slashdot!

    • "Intern: Professor Morrison, we've had over 800,000 similar requests for a replacement penis and hand!"

      I don't think you meant to say what you said. However, that would dramatically change what a "hand job" is.
  • 3D cells? (Score:5, Funny)

    by bohemian72 (898284) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @01:28PM (#15489039)
    Funny. I didn't realize there were any 2D human cells. Maybe that's how Flat Stanley was able to slide under the door.
  • And all this time I thought our cells where only 2D.
    • I can tell how much money your parents made from reading that comment.
    • And all this time I thought our cells where only 2D.

      Skin is flat tissue, but has multiple layers. I suppose what they grow in labs is only the epidermis.

      But what about the bladders that they've been growing in labs? Isn't that organ a combination of tissue types and more than simply 2D, i.e. muscle and the lining? See some info about it here [voanews.com]. These replacement bladders are in people right now.

      • They are very close to being just a membrane, very very thin, and were mechanically constructed into shape after being grown. No muscle layers were added, the patients own were used.
    • Only if you live in Flatland [wikipedia.org].
  • Sold! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Itninja (937614) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @01:30PM (#15489064) Homepage
    FTA: Now, currently we have been able to make breast tissue...

    Great, I'll take two please.
    • You want breast implants?
    • Re:Sold! (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      Agreed. Nothing like a coupla breast tissues for when you've got the sniffles...

      *insert joke about snorting coke of a hooker's breasts*
    • FTA: Now, currently we have been able to make breast tissue...

      There are, of course, not 2d, but Double-D.

    • FTA: Now, currently we have been able to make breast tissue...

      Sure, of course, we could use it to cure paralized patients and cancer, but boob jobs and growing longer eye-lids would do.
      • Sure, of course, we could use it to cure paralized patients and cancer, but boob jobs and growing longer eye-lids would do.

        Longer eye-lids? Is there some new fad that I don't know about?

  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @01:31PM (#15489068) Homepage Journal
    The only catch is that you have to wear wacky-looking glasses to see them in 3D.
  • I think 2D cells yould have been much more interesting, as it would imply that cells could operate with only one atom's worth of height. Unfortunately the submitter meanst 2D arragements of cells, which is much less cool. For example read: The Planiverse.
  • what the editor/ writer meant was "Human Cells Grown in a 3D Matrix"

    that would have conveyed the substance of the story better, without idiots being confused and dorks laughing at the idiocy of the title, of which there is certainly to be a deluge of such comments

    the title "4D Human Cells Grown" or "2D Human Cells Grown"... now that would have been interesting, as the laws of physics as we know them would have been breached, nevermind the laws of biology ;-)
    • Well, they also claimed that these researchers grew 3D human cells for the first time, which is really incredibly stupid. I've been growing 3D human cells for over 30 years.
    • One thing that researchers have managed is to grow bladders using a cellular matrix or structure. I've read that they have successfully used such a technique to grow bladders for people that have lost theirs to diseases such as cancer. Now having the ability to grow fully functional organs without the need for a matrix of some type is outstanding for the future of organ replacement.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    When I looked at the diagrams in my biology textbook, they always seemed to be 2D.
  • How is that different from the extracellular matrices used for cell growth as described in this [prnewswire.com] article?
    • It's really not different. Tissue Engineering, as far as I know, has long since been able to do this. It's just the concept of using an artificial scaffold of some sort (or a patented box, as described in this article) to support the artificial recreation of some sort of multilayered tissue. In this case, it happened to be Heart Tissue, but in most of the cases that I've read about and studied -- it's tended to be something like skin grafts, artificial tendons, etc.

      This is hardly breaking news, if any
  • Now all they need to do is figure out how to correct the DNA sequence that caused me to need a transplant in the first place and we'll be set. Another copy of the first two organs wouldn't do me a whole lot of good...
    • I know you meant your comment sarcastically, but it begs an interesting question. The body would regrow these organs based on a DNA map that probably wasn't explicit in every detail, only the important structural ones. It's likely that variations could happen each time the organ was grown, even on the same subject.

      I'm imagining a Slashdot geek removing a certain "organ" and depleting their reserve of stem cells trying to grow a bigger and better one...re-rolling for a 20 style.

  • by btpier (587890) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @01:48PM (#15489237)
    This article http://www.startribune.com/535/story/45512.html [startribune.com] from a year ago would make me believe the researchers in Australia were not the first to accomplish this. Either that or they've taken a long time to tell anyone about it. The Star Tribune article is actually more interesting in that it gives more specifics on how the cells were actually grown.
  • thats wierd (Score:5, Funny)

    by dilvish_the_damned (167205) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @01:53PM (#15489279) Journal
    Melbourn researchers have, for the first time, managed to grow three dimensional human cells.

    I've been doing that for years.
  • again and again (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mapkinase (958129)
    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.
  • "Now Mr. Spritzer, we're only going to extract these cells for use in growing you a new heart. None of the material will be sent to the labs at Harvard [slashdot.org]. We swear."
  • FTA:"...reduce the problem of immune rejection which is often associated with organ transplants."

    I had always assumed that immune rejection ALWAYS happened with organ transplants. Are there cases where a transplant has occured without rejection?
    • they suppress the immune system big time before any transplants. and of course there is a reasonable chance of success, or you wouldn't see so many "i'm an organ donor" bumper stickers, lol.
    • Are there cases where a transplant has occured without rejection?

      In cases where the source material is already from the recipient? Ribs reused as jaw bones, skin grafts, moving fat from stomach to breasts or bottom...

      I wonder though about identical twins. Theoretically, couldn't they share organs without rejection? Of course, if one needs an organ due to a genetic disease, they probably both need it...
    • Yes, in identical twins and with cloned tissue, rejection does not occur.
    • The are actually different levels of immuno compatibility between different cells from different individuals . The "big red flags" of immnocompatibility are called the major histocompatibility complex (HMC's [wikipedia.org]). Large differences in HMC genotypes pretty much ensures tissue rejection, called acute rejection. Twins and cloned tissue have identical MHC's, so this is why they are the prefered donors where possible. This is highest in the first 3 months after transplantation, and is lowered by immunosuppressiv
    • I had always assumed that immune rejection ALWAYS happened with organ transplants.

      Correct. There are several types of rejection as well, including rejection of the transplanted organ by the host, and rejection of the HOST by the transplanted organ. They each have 3 major types - acute rejection, hyperacute rejection, and chronic rejection.

      Are there cases where a transplant has occured without rejection?

      As in a dead patient, or one whose immune system was depressed a little too far (who
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @01:59PM (#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.
    • A. Stemcell research has not been outlawed.

      B. There is NO guarantee that embryonic stem cells will ever cure anything.

      I'm not at all against stem cell research of any kind, I just get tired of everybody acting like stem cells will provide the cure for everything. So far, not a whole lot has come of embryonic stem cell research.

      • 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
      • This woman is able to walk again [stemcellnews.com]is able to walk again after being paralyzed for 20 years due to an accident.

        This boy was going to die before his 17th birthday [cordblood.com] from sickle cell anemia.

        It may not be a cure-all and it may not cure the same condition in every person, but there are many examples like the ones above of people being cured. The beauty of the ones above is that I believe they were both cured using cord blood stem cells rather than embryonic stem cells which many express concern about.
    • 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 b

      • America is probably the only country, let alone "civilization", built on principles rather than merely the expediency of history at its founding. Unless you mean "this guy is now in charge" is a principle. Even the basis for the "embryonic stemcell research will speed the destruction of our civilization" is invalid, to say nothing of its more elaborate political conjectures. Not to mention the founding American principle of public protection of science and individual achievement.

        The "creating a demand for a
    • "Britain has an auto industry, but it was easily eclipsed by the American car startups like Henry Ford."

      That's due more to Ford's innovations (assembly line, etc) and philosophy of producing a car for the masses than any industry obsession. Also, the size and low population density of the US was a deciding factor for capitalists -- most train lines in the US weren't that profitable unless you had a monopoly and could exploit it. In addition, coal was widely available in Britain, but gasoline was not for
      • American railroads created more wealth among more new owners more quickly than ever before in any human endeavor. Britain, too. To complete the picture, America's vast emptiness was an even better home to railroads, with its few endpoints, than was Britain, which was better served by smaller scale vehicles like cars. But Britain was distracted by the shorter-term prospects of "railroading the world", while American entrepreneurs like Ford had to compete with American domestic monopolies. Ford's assembly lin
        • Well, the American switch to nearly 100% petrol was due more to Prohibition than anything else -- ethanol distillers were outlawed. Though it coincides nicely with a lot of corporate interests.

          As to the parellel with the drug industry, I think it's fairly superficial, and simplifies too greatly where drug discovery has come from. 'Colonial plant medicine formulas' form a very small proportion of drugs, even of drug families. The most famous example being aspirin, which was not colonial, but from a nativ
          • When I was getting my intro to pharmacology in college (no, the premed lectures ;), they taught us that most new drugs (as of the mid 1980s) were discovered through ethnopharmacology (whether acknowledged or not) in underdeveloped countries, then extraction of the "active ingredient", followed by synthesis. Increased industrialization of biodiverse developing areas, particularly tropical, suggests even better access. To your asprin I say "morphine". And even aspirin was part of the basis for the German domi
    • America's 20th Century industry was so obsessed with drugs ...

      Seeking health is by necessity an individualized process. Medicine is a "practice" and not a "science" because everyone responds differently, sometimes radically, sometimes ever so slightly, to the same treatment protocol.

      The obsession with drugs came about by certain interests hijacking the medical education process (AMA, Flexner report, etc), standardizing on allopathic modalities (suppressing or treating the symptoms with drugs - tylenol for
    • Mod Parent Down (Score:2, Informative)

      by ncc74656 (45571) *

      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.

      Bullshit. Stem cell research has not been outlawed, and you know it. What has been cut off is federal funding for research that involves the creation and use of new lines of embryonic stem cells. No research has been outlawed. You can still get money from Uncle Sam for research using existing embryonic stem-cell lines

      • Stemcell research in the US has been outlawed by outlawing its funding. Not all of it - I never claimed all of it. Nor did I claim that the Australian research was embryonic, nor that Americans couldn't get funding to do it. I made a basic point about the actual medical research industry in the US. A point about which you have nothing to say. Certainly nothing based on the truth, logic, or anything I've posted.

        You're the one spreading bullshit. The existing lines are contaminated, and you know it, and the U
  • I've always thought that using organs grown from stem cells is a good idea. But I've also wondered how long it would take to actually grow the organ, and what restrictions this would impose on usage, plus what the inherent limitations are - I imagine this wouldn't be very effective against cancer, for example. Anyone care to enlighten me?
    • Re:Question (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dunbal (464142)
      I imagine this wouldn't be very effective against cancer, for example.

      You are correct. Cancer patients are rarely organ transplant recipients. With a few exceptions, the problem with cancer is not the damage it does to the single organ it affected at the beginning. It's the cumulative effect of the metastases (the other tumors that originated from the primary), all the inflammatory gunk the body produces, and the hormonal/electrolyte imbalances that occurthat ends up killing the patien
  • Does this mean I could have people pilot me in hybrid jets/helicopters while my car drives me home and I can chat with my friend in the near future [imdb.com]?
  • How many Slashdot articles will it take before people are not that impressed with 3D? And isn't it technically incorrect? Shouldn't it be 4D? Real Life! Now in IMAX!!! Please, someone post a article about something more earth-shattering than the conquering of a pesky dimension. It's not like it wasn't in 3D before, it's just a misuse of the language. They should have wrote that they conquered the problem of cell depth, not 3D. Anything but the totally played out 3D.
  • So...just how do these cells stay alive? They need blood to carry the oxygen right?
    • Re:Feed the cells (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @03:07PM (#15489779)
      how do these cells stay alive? They need blood to carry the oxygen right?

            Not really. I'm not a cell biologist, but I have a doctorate in a biology related field (grin).

          Blood is extremely efficient at moving huge quantities of oxygen to a tissue, and getting rid of CO2 and other unwanted byproducts, however tissue does not require such an efficient transport medium all the time. The demands of a cell in a culture where all it has to do is grow, in an ideal liquid medium that is constantly replaced with optimum levels of nutrients, are not all that much, compared to inside the body, where the same cell is made to work (by nervous or hormonal action), is constantly exposed to toxic metabolites from other cells in the area as well as disease. The type of cell that demands most oxygen is the neuron - which is always energy starved. The other tissues (heart muscle, kidney, etc) can make do with a lot less oxygen if it's at rest (the extreme oxygen dependency of the heart is due to the macroscopic design of the organ rather than the tissue itself).

            The human body can exist on nothing but salt water - I've seen it happen in extreme emergency situations where a patient has massive bleeding and not enough replacement blood is available. It's eerie to watch the blood turn from red, to pale pink, to almost transparent, at the bleed site. Usually these patients do not recover so well due to the swelling this causes, rather than lack of oxygen. We are talking about extreme situations and heroic measures here.

            The cell cultures should be ok provided a sterile, isotonic, oxygenated and nutrient filled liquid is pumped through it. The body is limited by the atmospheric concentration of oxygen. Even at 100% efficiency, you can't increase the pO2 of the blood beyond a certain limit. You can do that artificially with 100% oxygen though. It doesn't have to be blood at all.
  • It's the vessel (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    FTA: We have developed a special chamber which is patented with the Bernard O'Brien logo and this essentially is an empty box into which we implant a blood vessel using microsurgery techniques. And this is the link with the microsurgery, that we use microsurgery to create this environment and we mix cells inside this chamber and we let them grow according to the specific environment that we can create.

    I work in a biomedical engineering lab that develops new imaging techniques and we grow tissue phantoms
  • I, for one, welcome our two-headed overlords.
  • 3D? Was this suppose to be a buzzword to get more hits? Gamers must be hugh demographic of the Slashdot audience (ok major "well duh!" moment) Ok, an more accurate way to look at this article is that scientists have created complex tissue from stem cell precursors which is more interesting to those who study biology or medicine or just those who may need organs in the next couple decades. I know that the reporter is not very science oriented but rtfa, and you will realized what the article is all about The
  • 3D HUMAN CELLS now power the Sony PS3 "Evil Incarnate" Edition
  • skin is hardly 2D (Score:2, Informative)

    by ickeicke (927264)
    only being able to create two-dimensional constructions like skin
    Skin [wikipedia.org] is hardly 2D [wikimedia.org].
  • We have to be thankful for this discovery. After all, the old two dimentional cells were completely useless to everyone except for the inhabitants of Flatland, and since the trade embargo, demand for these two dimetional cells has dropped incredibly. But we can all sleep a little sounder knowing that scientists are capable of growing cells that now come with all 3 dimentions. (/sarcasm)

    Or perhaps what they really mean is growing cell CULTURES in 3D? Sheesh, only on slashdot...
  • 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 -
  • Finally, we will be able to expand ourselves beyond our meager 2D existence and explore this new, third dimension that we have discovered!
  • by gm0e (872436)
    This inkjet printer mod [trnmag.com] was done over a year ago and accomplished the same thing as far as I can tell.
  • What the article doesn't mention, is that as well as approving the research grant, Peter Costello also added an additional $300,000AUD from his own funds to the project.

    I don't agree with the Liberal Party's politics. I don't agree with the Economic Rationalism that Costello uses to justify many of his economic decisions as Australia's 2nd most powerful politician.

    But I can't help respecting this man. Imagine what the world could be like if all the filthy-rich politicians were to fund things like this

  • I'll be down at the bar. Please call my mobile when my new liver comes out of the vat.

  • The third dimension is merely an idea from trashy science fiction that has no relevance to reality. What next? People claiming that you can tie knots in pieces of string and that you can enclose a region of space with simply connected surface?

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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