There is ongoing controversy surrounding the harvesting of stem cells. Some people say that the ends justify the means and other people say that the collection of embryonic stem cells is simply unethical. Well, it seems that science could once again be coming to the rescue, because they may have figured out how to effectively “3D print” lab-made embryonic stem cells that can then be grown into just about anything the human body needs.
It really is amazing how far 3D printing has come. We’ve seen it used to 3D records that actually work and the technology is being considered for printing our first lunar base. In this newest development, the team from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland are working on a way to 3D print cluters of human embryonic cells in a number of different sizes.
Embryonic cell cultures are inherently very fragile, so it is naturally a very delicate process. By being able to print them in three dimensions, these scientists are opening up a whole world of medical possibilities. The stem cells can be cultured for organ transplants, for example. I still think organ donors will continue to be used for the foreseeable future, but further development in this technology could certainly supplement that supply. These manufactured stem cells can also be used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions, all without that pesky ethical controversy.