- Stem cells give rise to all the organs in the body, a process that continues to fascinate and mystify the scientific world.
- A leading Japanese group demonstrated the growth of both a human and mouse retina in a laboratory dish.
- The Fraunhofer network of technical institutes is an example of how researchers and manufacturers work closely together in industry.
- The event enables better understanding of brain development and may lead to eventual treatments for eye diseases.
In the womb, a ball of identical cells gives rise to varied cell types that ultimately form highly ordered structures and then the full panoply of organs in the human body. The process advances according to an internal biological script that directs each fold and crease of tissue to assume exactly the proper shape and dimension.
Scientists familiar with this progression from simple parts to a complex system have never stopped contemplating embryonic development with a sense of muted wonder and a concomitant desire to replicate early development on top of a laboratory bench—both to understand the biology better and to translate the information into ways of repairing and replacing damaged tissues. Their time may have come. Recent successes in deciphering the intricacies of development have raised the prospect of replacement organs grown outside the body arriving in surgical suites within as little as 10 years.
This article was originally published with the title Grow Your Own Eye.