Swiss researchers have achieved a major breakthrough in the development of bioengineered skin. The new grafts, which are about to undergo clinical trials, work a lot like the real thing — because they actually contain functioning blood vessels and lymph capillaries.
Spiny headed worms are a clingy lot. They're intestinal parasites with long, cactus-like heads that are perfect for penetrating, and then grabbing hold of, the insides of their host's digestive organs. Now, bioengineers have co-opted these hanger-ons' latching mechanisms for something therapeutic: skin grafts.
The skin gun is not science fiction—it's a prototype medical device that literally sprays skin cells onto burn victims to re-grow skin. Old methods like skin grafts took weeks to heal; the skin gun needs about an hour.