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Scientists 3-D Print With Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Scientists 3 D Print With Human Embryonic Stem Cells Popular Science


Stashed in: Science!, Awesome, South Park, Singularity!, 3D Printers, @nealstephenson, SciFi!, Stem Cells

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3-D printers can produce gun parts, aircraft wings, food and a lot more, but this new 3-D printed product may be the craziest thing yet: human embryonic stem cells. Using stem cells as the “ink” in a 3-D printer, researchers in Scotland hope to eventually build 3-D printed organs and tissues. A team at Heriot-Watt University used a specially designed valve-based technique to deposit whole, live cells onto a surface in a specific pattern. The cells were floating in a “bio-ink,” to use the terminology of the researchers who developed this technique. They were able to squeeze out tiny droplets, containing five cells or fewer per droplet, in a variety of shapes and sizes. To produce clumps of cells, the team printed out cells first and then overlaid those with cell-free bio-ink, resulting in larger droplets or spheroids of cells. The cells would group together inside these spheroids. Spheroid size is key, because stem cells need certain conditions to work properly. This is why very precisely controlled 3-D printing could be so valuable for stem cell research. After being squeezed out of a thin valve, the cells were still alive and viable, and able to transform into any other cell in the body, the researchers say. It’s the first time anyone has printed human embyronic stem cells, said lead researcher Will Wenmiao Shu, a professor at Heriot-Watt. But ... why?

There was a South Park episode in which Cartman made a Shakey's Pizza out of stem cells.

Apparently we're not far off from a world in which that's possible.

This idea of "bio-ink" is awesome.

It does seem like, in the next decade or two, humanity's capacity to make things is going to take a quantum leap forward to the point that anything that we can think of, we can make.

One step closer to the Singularity, Jared!

diamond age, adam, read it!

Did they ever end up making it for the Syfy channel?

Lots of Neal Stephenson quotes:

no movie as of yet

Okay then I will start with the Wikipedia page and work my way up from there.