Researchers at the University of Tokyo created a 5mm tall doll composed of living cells, in an experiment to create 3D living biological structures. It's cute and kinda gross at the same time.
The experiment is supposed to help improve techniques to create bodily organs and tissues with complex cellular structures, which would be useful for regenerative medicine and drug development.
Scientists created the little gingerbread-looking man by cultivating 100,000 0.1mm balls of collagen, each coated with dozens of skin cells and dropping them inside a doll-shaped mold for a day. The doll managed to survive in a culture solution for more than one day.
Shoji Takeuchi, a professor at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science, said he'll be trying to combine multiple types of cells next to create a complex system that could function as a living organism. Translated: "First we're growing dolls. Next we're going to grow PEOPLE." Just kidding. I think. [Pink Tentacle]