Regenerative Medicine

  • ​Stem cells have incredible potential for regenerative medicine, but getting hold of them can be tricky. Amniotic fluid may be a plentiful source, and now scientists in Sweden have developed a device to collect the fluid during delivery of a baby by caesarean section, to safely harvest stem cells.
  • Technologies that reprogram one type of cell to perform the role of another hold a huge amount of potential, and scientists are now reporting a promising advance in the area, in the form of patch that they say can use an electric pulse to turn skin cells into the building blocks of any organ.
  • Science
    Eye transplants are yet to become a reality as scientists have not figured out how to reconnect them to the brain. However, a new study, in which blind tadpoles were able to use transplanted eyes on their tails to see, suggests there might be another way to restore sight in humans.
  • Despite outward appearances, plants and animals share surprising similarities in their vascular network structures. So what if there was a way to take advantage of these similarities to grow human cardiac tissue using leaves? The WPU researchers have done just that.
  • We start out with only about 15,000 sound-processing hair cells in each cochlea, and once any of them are gone, they're gone for good. There may now be hope for restoring that lost hearing, however, as scientists have reported a new method of regrowing hair cells in substantial numbers.​
  • Many lizards are capable of breaking off and regrowing their tail, in order to escape predators. The newly-described Geckolepis megalepis gecko, however, possesses a rather interesting trait. When a predator tries to eat it, that creature often just ends up with a mouthful of tear-away scales.​
  • Some of our closest invertebrate cousins, like this Acorn worm, have the ability to perfectly regenerate any part of their body that's cut off - including the head and nervous system. Humans have most of the same genes, so scientists are trying to work out whether human regeneration is possible too.
  • A novel study has found success in using the extracellular matrices in zebrafish to jumpstart mammalian cardiac tissue regeneration, possibly bringing science closer to fixing a "broken heart.​"
  • ​​When it comes to surgically replacing sections of bone, there are two main approaches: harvesting pieces of bone from elsewhere in the body, or using shaped metallic implants. Now, however, scientists are developing an alternative – stretchy 3D-printed implants that bone cells propagate. ​
  • While advances have been made in replacing sections of bone and stimulating natural healing, researchers from Columbia University have developed a bone-growing technique that precisely replicates original structures in the head and face.
  • ​"Have you tried turning it off and on again?" is a standard IT solution, but researchers have found that an immune system reboot can cure early MS. In trials, the treatment suppressed brain inflammation, prevented relapses, halted disease progression and even reversed some symptoms.
  • A closer look at the mechanism driving the remarkable regenerative abilities of zebrafish has suggested that they can be recreated in mice, with the scientists involved hopeful it could ultimately improve our capacity to regrow damaged body parts.