Is the Hollywood vision of “The Terminator” on its way too being fulfilled in real life?
An automated system using robots has been designed to rapidly produce human mini-organs derived from stem cells, according to Science Daily.
It was developed in Seattle by researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
“This is a new ‘secret weapon’ in our fight against disease,’ said Benjamin Freedman, assistant professor of medicine at the college’s Division of Nephrology.
Previous to this breakthrough, Freeman says the method for stem-cell growth was to culture them into flat sheets.
Science Daily noted, “In recent years, researchers have been increasingly successful in growing stem cells into more complex, three-dimensional structures called mini-organs or organoids. These resemble rudimentary organs and in many ways behave similarly. While these properties make organoids ideal for biomedical research, they also pose a challenge for mass production. The ability to mass produce organoids is the most exciting potential applications of the new robotic technology, according to the developers.”
“Ordinarily, just setting up an experiment of this magnitude would take a researcher all day, while the robot can do it in 20 minutes,” said Freedman.
“On top of that, the robot doesn’t get tired and make mistakes. … There’s no question. For repetitive, tedious tasks like this, robots do a better job than humans.”