Health and Medicine

Human Intestines Successfully Grown in Mice

Photo credit: Immunostaining of engrafted human intestinal organoid (HIO). The tissue is of human origin as stained by human nuclear antigen (red). Muscular layer is stained with alpha-SMA (green). Scale bar: 100um / Helmrath lab

For the first time, researchers growing functioning intestinal tissue from human stem cells have successfully transplanted these so-called “organoids” into mice. Once within their mouse host, the lab-grown intestinal precursors grew into mature human tissue capable of both absorbing and digesting. The work was published in Nature Medicine this week.

Physics

Physicists Develop Reversible Laser Tractor Beam Functional Over Long Distances

Photo credit: Dr Vladlen Shvedov (L) and Dr Cyril Hnatovsky adjusting the hollow laser beam in their lab. Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU

Spaceships in movies and TV shows routinely use tractor beams to tow other vessels or keep them in place. Physicists have been hard at work trying take this technology from science fiction to reality. Significant process has recently been made by a team who have developed a laser tractor beam able to attract and repel particles about 100 times further than has been previously achieved.

Space

Secret Spaceplane Lands After 674 Days In Orbit

Photo credit: Vandenberg AFB/USAF

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle’s third mission (OTV-3) came to an end on October 17 when the unmanned craft landed safely and autonomously at Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California after 675 days in orbit. Altogether, the three missions have totaled 1367 days, and a fourth mission is expected to launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida sometime in 2015.

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