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Scientists learn what makes nerve cells so strong


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Totally tubular!  It is the carbon-nanotube space elevator like solution in biology for long nerve fibers.

Sounds like it could be useful in finding solutions for neurodegenerative diseases:

"Except for neurons, cells' microtubules are in constant dynamic flux—being taking apart and rebuilt," says Scott Brady, professor and head of anatomy and cell biology at UIC and principal investigator on the study. But only neurons grow so long, he said, and once created they must endure throughout a person's life, as much as 80 to 100 years. The microtubules of neurons are able to withstand laboratory conditions that cause other cells' microtubules to break apart.

We live in marvelous times.

In our lifetime someone will make an entire human heart from scratch.

You're not thinking big enough!  ;-)

In our lifetime someone will make an entire human from scratch?

First, what do you expect "in our lifetime" to be?  A reasonable extrapolation is perhaps 150 years, so about the next century.  Second, we're creating many common tissues and organs and we don't even need stem cells anymore.  (An adult skin cell is enough in some cases now.)  We're likely to have trouble printing a 3D brain for a long time, although we keep making impressive leaps in understanding how it is connected and how it works.  Bones, skin, muscle, nerves, blood vessels and the heart, kidneys, liver, etc. are all on the edge of being able to have crude proof of concepts created from scratch.  Then it is just a matter of iteration and refinement.  It's all of the little, detailed tissue that we'll have trouble with for a long time: endocrine, immune systems, etc.

We're not likely to have a goal of creating a human from scratch, so in that sense it probably won't happen.  Much easier to grow a new one.  But our skill in each area is likely to be sufficient to do that.

More importantly, we'll be able to regenerate any part of a human.

Today I learned that there are only 250 human cell types.

I had thought there were many more!

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