By Kaitlynn Bayne
In a laboratory at Duke University, scientists have grown muscle that responds to external stimuli very similarly to human muscle. Although animal muscle has been created in labs before, this is the first lab to successfully make human muscle. They made the muscle from myogenic precursor cells, which are stem cells that are in a stage between the early stem cell and the muscle tissue stages. After a year of making this tissue, they tested it with external stimuli, and found that it responded the same way human muscle would. Also, the muscle responded to electrical signals, making it the first lab-grown muscle to do so. This is significant because it allows nerves to activate the muscle.
The goal of the scientists in this lab is to come up with a way to create medications made specifically toward individual patients. In the lab, the muscle was able to respond to drugs the same way it responds in the human body. Therefore, if they could get myogenic precursor cells from a patient, they would be able to test different drugs on the lab-created muscle to determine which ones would be the best for the individual.
This discovery has the potential to change the pharmaceutical and health care industries greatly. The ability to get medication made specifically for your own body would allow patients to skip the step of testing a bunch of medications before finding one that works. Additionally, since the medication would be tailored specifically for the individual, it also has the possibility to be much more effective than medications are today.
WELCOME, UMICH SCIENTISTAS!
SORT BY TAG
The Network for Pre-Professional Women in Science and Engineering
The Scientista Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) -- Donate!