10 amazing things grown in the lab

There is no doubt that science has accomplisheda lot of incredible breakthroughs in the last 100 years. This is especially true for medicine and bioengineering. From rescue vaccines to revolutionary surgeries, science greatly enhances our quality of life. To come up with new solutions to age-old problems, progress needs scientists. Behind every medical discovery is a laboratory full of amazing ideas. Sometimes these experiments raise ethical questions. But more often they only lead to interesting solutions to annoying problems.

What solution can be more sophisticated thangrowing something in the lab from scratch? Here is a list of ten incredible laboratory-grown pieces compiled by Listverse. This you have not seen before!


  • 1 Pork bones
  • 2 rat limb
  • 3 Hamburgers
  • 4 Human Pork Embryo
  • 5 mouse sperm
  • 6 Blood stem cells
  • 7 Apple Ears
  • 8 Bunny Penis
  • 9 Vagina
  • 10 brain balls

Pork bones

In 2016, US scientists successfully implantedcreated in the laboratory of bone fourteen adult mini-pigs Yucatan. None of the pigs are not annexed the new organs after surgery. Just the opposite. The blood vessels of laboratory-grown bones were seamlessly integrated into the already existing circulation system of pigs.

How is this even possible?

First, scientists scanned the jaw bonespigs and mapped their structures. Then created suitable cellular forests of cow bones. Pigs stem cells were introduced into these structures and filled with nutrient-rich solution. The result was a fully functional live bone.

Rat limb

Scientists from the Massachusetts Hospital hit the front pages of newspapers when in 2015 they raised a whole front paw of a rat in a laboratory. It was the first successful project of this kind in the world.

The process was led by Dr. Harold Ott, alsowho headed the Laboratory of Ott's Organs' Engineering and Regeneration After only 16 days, their experiment led to the creation of muscle tissue. That's how they did it.

Dr. Ott and his team took a live rat.limb and removed all its cells. This process is called decellularization. Once the living cells were removed, the scientists were left alone with the protein frame for the limb.

Then they filled this structure alive.cells that have formed muscle tissue and blood cells in just a few weeks. To test the functionality of the limb grown in the laboratory, the group applied a weak electrical current to the muscle tissue.

Result? The muscles in the limbs were reduced just as if they were normal, grown in organs.


The first lab-grown burger undercodenamed schmeaso (schmeat) appeared in London in 2013. It was created in the Netherlands by Dr. Mark Post, a professor of vascular physiology. His goal was to reproduce the meat, which "does not cause the suffering of animals and does not harm the environment", in contrast to traditional sources of meat. The project took 5 years and $ 325,000.

It was after the success of Post began a stir on the topiccreate laboratory meat. Memphis Mear, a San Francisco-based startup, created laboratory mitballs in 2016. He also raised chicken sticks - the first in the world.

Nevertheless, it is unlikely that meat grown in the laboratory will be available to the general public until 2021.

Human pork embryo

A group of scientists from Spain and La Jolla, California, inThe Salk Institute has successfully grown human cells in a pig embryo. The purpose of the study was to eventually grow whole human organs to be used for transplantation inside other animals. Salk scientists have already grown several rat organs inside mouse embryos. But with the latest research, inevitable ethical questions were raised.

In 2015, the United States stopped fundingstudies of interspecies chimeras for taxpayers' money. In genetics, chimera is a natural phenomenon when one organism has two or more different sets of DNA.

But an interspecific chimera contains DNA of two or morespecies. This raises concerns about whether pigs or other animals implanted with human cells will develop the functions of the human brain.

Juan Carlos Ispisois Belmonte and his teamstated that they are aiming to “check the possibility of focusing on human cells when creating certain tissues, while avoiding any contribution to the brain, sperm or egg”.

Mouse sperm

In 2016, scientists from the Institute of Zoology of the AcademyChina's sciences have created viable mouse sperm from stem cells. To do this, they removed the stem cells from the mice and injected them into the testicular cells of the newborn mice.

Qi Zhou and Xiao-Yang Zhao, who conducted the experiment,stem cells have also been exposed to several chemicals involved in sperm development. Among them were testosterone, a hormone that causes follicle growth, and a growth hormone from the pituitary gland.

After two weeks, scientists have received completelyfunctional sperm cells. They implanted this sperm into the living egg and transferred the zygotes to the female mice. During the experiment, nine mice were born, some of them continued their own offspring. Although this insemination process was not as effective as artificial insemination using natural sperm (3% success versus 9%), this study gives great hope for future infertility treatment.

Blood stem cells

Two different teams of scientists have developed innovativeapproach to the creation of blood stem cells. One group was from the Boston Children's Hospital under the direction of George Daily. They started with human skin cells and “reprogrammed” them to become induced pluripotent stem cells. The IPS cell is an artificially constructed stem cell.

The Daily team then put factors into the IPA cells.transcriptions, which are genes designed to control other genes. After this, modified IPA cells were implanted into mice for further development. (If you remember, it made those mice interspecific chimeras).

After 12 weeks, these scientists created only a precursor of blood stem cells. But the second team managed to go further.

At the Medical College of Weil Cornell Sahin Rafiyand his team missed the creation of an IPS. Instead, they took cells from the blood vessels of adult mice and introduced four transcription factors to them. Then they moved the cells to Petri dishes, equipped to recreate the environment of a person’s blood vessel.

These cells were transformed into stem cells.blood. The stem cells from this experiment were so powerful that they completely healed a group of mice suffering from a low number of blood cells due to radiation therapy.

Apple ears

In 2016, Canadian biophysicist Andrew Pelling andhis team from the University of Ottawa successfully cultivated human tissue using apples. Using the decellularization method, they removed the cells existing in the apple and stayed with the cell “forests”. However, it is this pulp that gives apples a juicy crunch.

Pelling and his team cut out a piece of apple in the shape of an ear and inserted human cells into it. The cells filled the structure and created the auricle (the outer part of the ear).

Why was this experiment needed? To create cheaper implants. According to Pelling, there is also less fuss with his laboratory material than with conventional biological materials, which are often taken from animals or dead bodies. His method is also not limited to apples. He tries to reproduce his creations on flower petals and other vegetables.

Rabbit penis

In 2008, Dr. Anthony Atala of the InstituteWake Forest regenerative medicine forced a group of rabbits to mate. But it was not an ordinary group of rabbits. All males had penises grown in the laboratory. This idea Atala nurtured and developed since 1992.

Of all 12 penis created in the laboratory, all allowed rabbits to mate. Eight rabbits successfully ejaculated, and four - had offspring.

By 2014, Atala and his team created sixhuman penises with the hope of getting FDA approval for transplanting people. Scientists subjected laboratory-grown organs to rigorous testing, using a machine that stretches and squeezes them to make sure that they can withstand the daily load.

A group of scientists also set up machines topumped fluid through the organs and led to an erection. As of 2017, the transplantation of these organs to people has not yet received approval, but is still ahead.


Dr. Anthony Atala and his team alsothey grew human vaginas in their lab. These organs were then implanted into four adolescents in Mexico, who as a result of a rare abnormality were born without them.

To create these organs, Atala’s team took a small skin sample from each girl. They then created biodegradable forests and implanted cells grown from tissue samples into them.

The first of these operations was carried out in 2005year Subsequent observations of women did not reveal long-term complications caused by surgery. All four women reported normal sexual functioning. However, only two women have a uterus. It is unclear whether the other two can bear the children.

Brain balls

Sergiu Pasca from Stanford Universitygrew a mini-brain for two years. Scientists call it a cerebral organoid. Being only 4 millimeters in diameter, this small lump of human brain tissue was grown in the laboratory from stem cells. Taking the necessary hormones, scientists were able to force the tissue to grow into a structure that almost completely imitates parts of the brain.

And you know what was the biggest difference between the usual part and its miniature version?

Grown in the laboratory brains did not haveblood vessels or white blood cells and did not follow the typical stages of neurological development. Instead, they stopped ripening in the equivalent of the first trimester of human development.

There are non-neural cells in the brain calledastrocytes that reach full maturity in laboratory organoids. Astrocytes are helper cells that create and reduce connections between neurons as needed. They also create connections with blood vessels leading into and out of the brain, and play an important role in the perception of injuries.