Scientists turn spinach into human heart tissue

March 28, 2017 by  
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Popeye was right: spinach really is good for the muscles, and not just the ones in your biceps. In fact, scientists have discovered a way to use the leafy stuff, which has a vascular system not dissimilar to ours, to grow layers of working heart muscle, according to a paper published this month in the journal Biomaterials . The new technique, a collaboration between Worcester Polytechnic Institute , the University of Wisconsin-Madison , and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro , marks a breakthrough in the field of human tissue regeneration, which has hitherto been stymied by scale. To wit, although current bioengineering methods can recreate cellular scaffolding on a large scope, fabricating branching networks of tiny blood vessels has proven far trickier. But then scientists noticed that plants and animals evolved parallel means of distributing water and nutrients to their respective cells. “Plants and animals exploit fundamentally different approaches to transporting fluids, chemicals, and macromolecules, yet there are surprising similarities in their vascular network structures,” the authors wrote. “The development of decellularized plants for scaffolding opens up the potential for a new branch of science that investigates the mimicry between plant and animal.” To test their theory, the researchers stripped a bunch of spinach leaves of their cells, leaving behind a network of cellulose. They then seeded the spinach veins with beating human-heart cells. With the leaf fully networked, the team pumped fluids and microbeads through their pint-size proto-heart, mimicking the flow of human cells through our own arterial system. Related: Engineers build artificial muscles from onion skin and gold So far, so successful. “We have a lot more work to do, but so far this is very promising,” said Glenn Gaudette, professor of biomedical engineering at WPI and corresponding author of the paper. And it’s not just spinach that’s up for the job. Other decellularized plants could help deliver oxygen to damaged tissue in victims of heart attacks or other kinds of cardiac trauma. Even better, bioengineers could tweak different plant species to repair a range of tissues in the body. Spinach might work best for highly vascularized cardiac tissue, for instance, but the cylindrical hollow structure of something like jewelweed might be more appropriate for an arterial graft. Similarly, the vascular columns of wood could one day play a role in healing human bones. “Adapting abundant plants that farmers have been cultivating for thousands of years for use in tissue engineering could solve a host of problems limiting the field,” Gaudette added. + Worchester Polytechnic Institute Via National Geographic

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Scientists turn spinach into human heart tissue

New concrete can repair its own cracks with bacteria

May 19, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of New concrete can repair its own cracks with bacteria Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beneficial bacteria , bioconcrete , bioengineering , biological building materials , concrete , green building materials , green buildings , self healing materials , self repair , self repairing building , Self-healing concrete

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New concrete can repair its own cracks with bacteria

INFOGRAPHIC: How to protect your garden with organic pest control methods

May 19, 2015 by  
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What’s the best way to protect your garden from hungry pests without resorting to toxic chemicals? First Choice Environmental has some good ideas. In the infographic ‘DIY Pest Control for the Savvy Gardener,’ the environmental consultant company explores a wide variety of natural pest control approaches, from the use of natural predators to row covers. Click through to learn more about these organic methods, their benefits, and implementation. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: How to protect your garden with organic pest control methods Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: diy pest control , First Choice environmental , infographic , organic gardening , organic pest control , pest control , reader submitted content

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Designing and Building with Bacteria Could be the Future of Architecture

August 30, 2013 by  
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The rate at which science has been evolving for the last few decades suggests it won’t be long before we’re able to build houses with bacteria . Manufacturing processes are close to replacing traditional factories with biological ones, where the tasks performed by digitally controlled machines will be taken by living, breathing and potentially even intelligent organisms . Read the rest of Designing and Building with Bacteria Could be the Future of Architecture Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bacteria house , bacteria houses , bioengineering , biomimicry , Building With Bacteria , Cambridge University , Columbia University , Columbia University biological research , David Benjamin , fossil fuels , glucose economy , Living Foundries Program , scientific research , The Living Thing        

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Designing and Building with Bacteria Could be the Future of Architecture

Oxford University 3D-Prints Synthetic Tissue From Oil and Water

April 8, 2013 by  
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A team of scientists at Oxford University has created a custom 3D printer that they have successfully used to create synthetic tissue which mimics properties of living tissue . Unlike projects underway by Organovo , the Oxford University team did not culture cells from existing, living tissue and expand upon them, but instead utilized water and oil to create a network of ‘programmable’ droplets that, held within lipid film, can replicate some behaviors of living tissue. Read the rest of Oxford University 3D-Prints Synthetic Tissue From Oil and Water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D printers , 3D printing , 3d printing biology , 3d printing health , 3d printing science , artificial tissue , bioengineering , living tissue , medicine design , organovo , oxford university , synthetic tissue        

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Oxford University 3D-Prints Synthetic Tissue From Oil and Water

Artist John O’Shea to Create a Bioengineered Pig’s Bladder Soccer Ball

July 17, 2012 by  
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John O’Shea , a British artist currently in residence at Liverpool University’s Clinical Engineering department, has designed a fairly stomach-churning soccer ball: he plans to bioengineer a pig’s bladder to recreate the standard sporting item as it was assembled in centuries past. If the project seems shocking, there’s a strong chance that’s what O’Shea is aiming for. He intends for the project to reference the “colliding worlds of human enhancement, the bio-technology industry and the global capitalization of sport, which have become highly contested areas.” Read the rest of Artist John O’Shea to Create a Bioengineered Pig’s Bladder Soccer Ball Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: animal science , bioengineering , clinical engineering , cloning , genetic engineering , john o’shea , liverpool university , pigs bladder , soccer ball

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Artist John O’Shea to Create a Bioengineered Pig’s Bladder Soccer Ball

Feldman Architecture’s Walnut Farms Retreat Strikes Rammed Earth Gold

July 17, 2012 by  
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San Francisco-based Feldman Architecture creates beautiful and sustainable modern homes using a palette of durable materials like concrete, stone, natural wood, and powder-coated steel. One of the current projects in the firm’s resume of homes is the Walnut Farms Retreat located in the Central Valley of California near the San Andres Fault. Like many of its predecessors, the Walnut Farms Retreat is slated to be certified by the USGBC’s LEED rating system, and as Feldman Architecture’s Principal, Jonathan Feldman, AIA, states, “the client was quick to jump into certification”. The 5700-square-foot project is designed to be carbon neutral with a net-zero solar electrical system , geothermal radiant heating and cooling , a solar hot water system, and rammed earth walls . Read the rest of Feldman Architecture’s Walnut Farms Retreat Strikes Rammed Earth Gold Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , energy efficient house , Feldman Architecture , Green Building , green design , Jonathan Feldman , LEED gold , Natural building materials , rammed earth , rammed earth house , sustainable design , Walnut Farms Retreat

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Feldman Architecture’s Walnut Farms Retreat Strikes Rammed Earth Gold

Can Scientists Combat Climate Change by Bioengineering the Human Body?

March 13, 2012 by  
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Climate talks have stalled, and many countries view geoengineering — like cloud whitening or constructing a space-based sun shade — to be too risky. Could the genetic engineering of the human body to make people smaller and more energy-efficient, for example, be a last-ditch effort to combat climate change? That’s just one of the controversial ideas floated by authors S. Matthew Liao, Anders Sandberg, and Rebecca Roache in a new paper that’s set to be published in the journal Ethics, Policy and the Environment . Read the rest of Can Scientists Combat Climate Change by Bioengineering the Human Body? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bioengineering , carbon footprint , Climate Change , CO2 , DNA , genetic engineering , geoengineering , global warming , kyoto protocol , livestock , Meat , Newborn Baby , S. Matthew Liao , science , Technology , vegan , vegetarian , vegetarianism

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Can Scientists Combat Climate Change by Bioengineering the Human Body?

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