University Of Minnesota Scientists Create Breathing Lungs

Futurity reports: As a follow-up to the beating heart, researchers at the University of Minnesota have used a similar technique to create breathing lungs in the lab.

The process called whole organ decellularization is used to remove cells from the lungs of dead adult mice and implant healthy stem cells derived from unborn mice into the decellularized matrix, the natural framework of the lungs.

After about seven days in an incubator, the infused cells attached themselves to the matrix while breathing with the aid of a tiny, make-shift ventilator. The work is reported in the journal Tissue Engineering.

Pretty amazing. Here are the scientists talking about it. Found at YouTube from UofMAHC.

FutureShock: Synthetic Life

This is a profound development. I wonder whether society is ready for it: Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they’ve created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the beginning of a new era for science. Found at TED.

The First Hints Of A Dinosaur’s True Colors

Posted via web from David Erickson’s Posterous via npr.org

Scientists have found evidence of some of the original coloration of a dinosaur that lived about 125 million years ago, showing that it had rings of orange-brown bristly feathers around its tail.

Fossils have revealed a lot about the lives of dinosaurs, but researchers always used to think that the fossil record couldn’t show what color they were. “This was the one point at which we had to give up,” says paleontologist Mike Benton at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, who explains that fossils tend to preserve an animal’s hard parts, like bones and teeth, and not soft parts like skin.

But feathers are made of tough proteins. “And, in fact, they can survive even in conditions where other internal organs, you know, muscles and guts and brains and so on, will disappear,” says Benton.