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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

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.