When the jello brains and gummy organs of Halloween come out, my thoughts turn to organoids. These are tiny organs, or parts of them, grown in lab dishes or transplanted into rodents, so we can watch a disease begin and maybe even test a candidate drug. Organoid technology isn't a headline hog like CRISPR, but it's intriguing, and certainly easier to envision.
Organoids that appear from dividing stem cells offer a landscape of early development – the process of organogenesis. A heart, liver, or kidney takes form from dividing, folding, and interacting cells, a little like watching a photographic image emerge and sharpen in a pan of developer, for those who remember that technology.
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