Growing mouse embryos without eggs or sperm
ANN ARBOR, MI–Research teams at the University of Michigan have grown mouse embryos without eggs or sperm, a major advance in helping scientists see organ development in unprecedented detail. The process hasn’t been perfected; the embryos only grew for 8.5 days, but long enough to start developing distinct organs. Bioengineer Jianping Flu told Nature magazine that the “next milestone in this field very likely will be a synthetic stem-cell based human embryo.”
Clear coating that kills disease pathogens
ANN ARBOR, MI–More cool stuff from the University of Michigan: A team of engineers and immunologists has developed a durable clear coating that has proved deadly to SARS-CoV-2, E. Coli, MRSA, and some other pathogens. The coating could be a game changer in traditionally germ-laden public spaces like airports and hospitals.
Robotic assistant heads to the International Space Station
LINCOLN, NE–Virtual Incision, a University of Nebraska spinout, has spent the better part of the last two decades developing its miniaturized in vivo robotic assistant called Mira. Now, thanks to funding from NASA, the platform will be headed to the International Space Station. Mira will be used to cut simulated tissue, manipulate small objects, and perform other activities to mimic the movements used in minimally invasive surgeries.
Cell and gene therapy manufacturing in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH, PA–The University of Pittsburgh and ElevateBio are partnering to bring cell and gene therapy manufacturing to Pittsburgh. ElevateBio will collaborate with Pitt to locate one of its next BaseCamp process development and Good Manufacturing Practice facilities in Pittsburgh — continuing the movement toward positioning Pittsburgh as a hub for the life sciences.