Building Muscle in the Lab

Professor Ori Bar-Nur and his team at ETH Zurich have successfully grown mouse muscle cells in the laboratory using a new approach. By reprogramming connective tissue cells into muscle stem cells using a cocktail of small molecules and proteins, the researchers were able to produce large quantities of muscle cells. Unlike previous methods that used genetic engineering, this approach introduces the mRNA transcript of the MyoD gene into the cells, avoiding potential negative consequences. The functional muscle cells produced through this method have shown promise in repairing muscle fibers in mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The researchers plan to adapt their approach for human cells and explore its potential applications in muscle diseases and alternative meat production.

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