Artificial Skin Grows Hair
Skin is the largest organ - and now Japanese researchers led by Ryoji Takagi, at the Tokyo University of Science, in Japan have succeeded in creating genetically engineered skin.
(Artificial skin sample - with hair!)
As they explain in a new paper in the journal Science Advances, the scientists have developed a new method to grow 3D layers of skin and hair cells from stem cells—which are genetically engineered from adult tissue.
The scientists' lab-grown skin includes all three layers of skin cells, as well as sweat glands, hair follicles, and your skin's oil-producing glands called sebaceous glands. That's far and away more complex than the next best attempt to artificially regenerate skin, which only includes two types of skin cells.
To test their new skin, the Japanese researchers took a DNA sample from a bald, adult mouse, built a chunk of skin with it, and successfully implanted skin back in the mouse, where it thrived and grew hair. The skin and hair prospered over the entire 70 day period it was meant to last.
In his 1952 story Accidental Flight, sf writer WF Wallace describes "plastissue":
Cameron scowled and thrust a scalpel deep into the girl's thigh. She looked at him with a tear-stained face, but didn't move a muscle.
"Plastissue, as any fool can see," he commented dourly.
(Read more about plastissue)
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