From agriculture to building dams, humanity has always tried to bend nature to its advantage. With stem cells and genetic engineering, we’ve reached a totally new level of control. As we speak, researchers are pushing the boundaries of science and making science fiction, science fact. They’re able to grow the strangest things in a lab that, frankly, doesn’t seem like they should be possible. Yet, by opening up the possibility, many patients with illnesses and disabilities may have a second chance in the future. But, maybe that’ll cause more problems than it’s worth? Get ready to go into uncharted territory! Here are 25 Strangest Things Growing In A Lab.
Plastic Eating Bacteria
Researchers in Japan discovered a bacteria that can eat plastic, more specifically polyethylene terephthalate, which is one of the most abundant on Earth. They’re hopeful they and other scientists can continue to grow this bacteria and use it to reduce plastic waste.
Blood Stem Cell
In 2017, scientists successfully grew the stem cells needed to produce blood. By being able to grow and produce blood, doctors could treat diseases like leukemia and be able to have enough blood for transfusions.
Usually, leather is made from cowhide. However, a company called Modern Meadow announced they are growing leather in their lab without cows at all. They grow a strain of yeast that produces collagen, which is essentially what gives leather its tough and elastic quality.
In 1954, Soviet scientist Vladimir Demikhov and his associates performed 23 surgeries to transplant a dog’s head onto another dog, virtually creating a two-headed dog. In 1959, they were “successful” in keeping both dogs alive and attached to each other. The two-headed dog only lived for four more days. While ethically and morally these surgeries were sketchy, they do open the doors to life-saving possibilities in the future.
Researchers have been growing mammary glands in a petri dish to conduct breast cancer research. They take cultured breast cells and grow their own in a transparent gel. Out of the research, they’ve uncovered that mammary gland growth is exploited by tumor progression.