Epigenetics: In Defense of Lamarck

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck has long been debunked. Or so the story goes. Lamarck formulated the theory that the environment shapes genes, and that these changes are passed on to your children; on other hand, Darwin argued that genes are not changed by the environment and formulated natural selection. Lamarckian evolution theories on environmentally acquired characteristics are often referenced and contrasted with …

Transdifferentiation-Exploring Biological Alchemy

How to turn lead into gold may still remain a mystery, but the discovery of what is equivalent to alchemy at a cellular level opens up a new range of possibilities. Contrary to previous belief that cellular differentiation is a permanent process, recent work has shown that differentiated cells under specific defined factors have the capacity to change into other …

Building New Foundations: Recent Advances in Tissue Engineering

Since the development of in-depth stem cell research and particularly the ability to induce pluripotency – the ability to differentiate cells into many or all cell-types – the promise of generating replacement tissues and organs for patients has been a virtual “holy grail” for the field of regenerative medicine. Many advances have been made in transforming somatic body cells into …