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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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  • 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 ;-)
  • by btpier ( 587890 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @02:48PM (#15489237)
    This article [] 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.
  • by lowLark ( 71034 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @03:33PM (#15489553)
    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 []). 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 immunosuppressive agents in maintenance therapy. There are also a host of minor histocompatibility complexes, which can over time elicit at response called chronic rejection, or chronic allograft vasculopathy, which takes about a decade and leads to fibrosis of the vasculature of the new organ. The reasons why some patients end up in rejection while others seem to adapt is not fully understood.
  • skin is hardly 2D (Score:2, Informative)

    by ickeicke ( 927264 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @03:46PM (#15489645)
    only being able to create two-dimensional constructions like skin
    Skin [] is hardly 2D [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @04:00PM (#15489728)
    The article doesn't really say what it's the first to do. Cells have been grown in matrices for a long time. Look at Dermagraft(tm), or the work by Anthony Atala Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=1663187 9&query_hl=2&itool=pubmed_docsum [], or Linda Griffith Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=1649602 3&query_hl=3&itool=pubmed_docsum [], or anyone else who has been doing this same exact thing for years.
  • Re:Feed the cells (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @04:07PM (#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.
  • Re:Question (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @04:13PM (#15489837)
    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 patient. Not much point in putting in a new kidney when the lungs and brain are full of little tumors is there?

          This would be great for trauma situations, as well as congenital (hereditary) diseases though.
  • by Colonel Angus ( 752172 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @04:24PM (#15489929)
    This woman is able to walk again []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 [] 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.
  • Mod Parent Down (Score:2, Informative)

    by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) * <> on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @06:58PM (#15490933) Homepage 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.

    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. You can still get money from Uncle Sam for research using adult stem cells. If you're not bothered by the ethical implications attendant to creating new embryonic stem-cell lines, you can either fund the research yourself or secure state and/or private funding for your work.

    If you had RTFA, you would've seen that the Australian researchers used adult stem cells. They're doing research that anybody right here in the U.S. could've done (and most likely are doing). That they got there first may end up being a point of pride for them (and rightly so), but there's nothing different about the legal climate here that would've prevented such a discovery.

    I would've recommended that you consider taking a job at Microsoft in their FUD-slinging department, but you're obviously so inept and ham-handed at it that they most likely wouldn't be interested.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings