Stem Cells: Beyond the Hype, Engineers Look to Build Fast

Even on the fast-paced, 0pen-source highway of biology, it’s a long road from breakthrough to application—one usually built by engineers, who figure out how to take the delicate results of lab experiments and make them robust enough to survive the onslaught of industry.

That’s why, for biomedical engineers like Peter Zandstra, last week’s news that embryonic stem cells had been created from human skin cells came as a beginning, not an end.

“It’s a huge step,” Zandstra says. “But the stem cells themselves are not useful for anything. That was the problem before this announcement—and that’s still the problem today.”

The good news is that stem-cell engineers, however under-the-radar, had recently been laying the groundwork.

Source:  Popular Mechanics

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