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Who Needs Protein Matrices When You Have Magnets?

Proponents of 3-D tissue engineering say there's very little point in growing tissue in a 2-D petri dish, because the human body isn't flat and that experimental platforms need to emulate the body's structure more closely, reports Technology Review's Christopher Mims. To that end, a Houston-based company called n3D Biosciences has developed a new technology that uses magnetism to float cells in a 3-D matrix, Mims says. The company uses a proprietary mix of nanoparticles that, when added to a dish of living cells, "allows them to move in response to magnetic fields that can be varied in three dimensions and across time," he adds. The researchers who presented the work at a meeting of the Tissue Engineering International & Regenerative Medicine Society say their "BioAssembler" technology can levitate cells rapidly to form 3-D cell structures.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.