Bone marrow has long been thought to have a role in repairing damaged skin, and now UK and Japanese researchers think they’ve found the key to summoning stem cells from bone marrow to the site of damaged skin: a signal known as HMGB1. By tapping this signaling mechanism, researchers could develop new treatments for skin injuries like severe burns.
The problem with needles is that nobody likes them. Aside from that, injection sites can become inflamed, and repeated injections into the same area can damage vascular tissue (see Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream for more graphic evidence of this). With that in mind, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have successfully created synthetic skin patches that can deliver gene therapies without the need for injections.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.