K-12 Education Resources
An Interview with Lakshmi Nair
Why do you think regenerative engineering science is important?
Regenerative engineering science provides the tools to regenerate damaged body parts, and potentially provide cures for many diseases and genetic conditions to allow for a long and healthy life.
What did you want to be when you grow up? Why did you choose Regenerative engineering?
I wanted to become a chemist when I grow up. Along the way, I saw the unique applications of chemistry in biology and medicine through which we could directly make a change in patient’s life and hence choose regenerative engineering.
What is the coolest thing about regenerative engineering?
Regenerative engineering approaches help the body to self-heal.
What is a surprising example of application for regenerative engineering?
Complete regeneration of the body can eliminate pain associated with tissue damage.
RE in the News
Scientists Grow Veins in the Lab!
Scientists have recently grown human veins in the lab using what is called, stem cell technology. Stem cells are cells that can develop into various types of cells such as a blood cell, muscle cell, and skin cell etc. Stem cells are able to do this because their genes have instructions for different types of functions in the body. Recently, researchers were able to “program” these stem cells and create blood vessels in a scientific lab. Imagine the potential this research has years from now.
Source: The Scientist
Building Organs in Space
Your heart, liver, and kidneys are examples of organs that perform very important functions in your body. Organs are made up of layers of tissues, which are made up of cells. For the past few years, scientists have been trying to 3D print organs to use for transplants. However, it is very hard to print complex structures such as organs because these layers of tissue are heavy, and the organ can collapse under its own weight. To solve this problem, NASA partnered with a company called Techshot to try printing these organs in space. In space, there is something called zero gravity, which means objects are weightless. So, printing organs in a place with close to zero gravity could solve the problem of the organ collapsing due to weight. While this development is exciting, it may take some time for this solution to be widely used, as printing organs in space can get very expensive.