Brain in a dish

“This study is one of the first attempts to combine organoids with bioengineering. Our new method takes advantage of and combines the unique strengths of each approach, namely the intrinsic self-organization of organoids and the reproducibility afforded by bioengineering. We make use of small microfilaments to guide the shape of the organoids without driving tissue identity.” Madeline Lancaster of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology describes to Lab Manager. Organoid refers to lab-grown miniature organ or organ-like tissue, encompassing complex properties such as 3D multicellular composition and self-organization. For the full story, click here.


Image provided by Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences via Lab Manager

One-Legged Flamingo Mechanics

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Flamingos are a majestic anomaly of bipedicular balance. Turns out, they probably stand on one leg passively without any muscle activity. Professor Young-Hui Chang and Lena H. Ting prove this and more in a series of experiments recently published in Biology Letters. “By contrast, the cadaveric flamingo could not be stably held in a two-legged pose, suggesting a greater necessity for active muscle force to stabilize two-legged versus one-legged postures,” they wrote. Researchers collected ground reaction components and reference video on subjects as they stood on a force plate. This appears to be the first functional investigation of one-legged standing in flamingos with respect to orthopedic anatomy and behavior.

Cranberries Are Not Medical Devices

The European Commission decided that cranberry products are not medical devices, according to a recent article published by Regulatory Affairs Professional Society. While this seems to state the obvious, products containing cranberry or cranberry extract are sometimes marketed as medical devices across the EU. Their mechanism of action involves proanthocyanidins (PAC), a class of polyphenols known to prevent and treat urinary tract infections. The committee’s decision applies to products that rely primarily on PAC to accomplish intended outcomes and will likely come into effect later this summer.