Escaping flatland | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Escaping flatland

2:40pm, December 11, 2007

From Washington, D.C., at a meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology

Nothing is more iconic of biological research than the petri dish. Yet the idea that growing cells in a flat dish can sometimes lead scientists astray is gaining traction.

As an alternative, some researchers are experimenting on cells grown in gelatinous materials made from many of the same structural proteins that fill the spaces between cells in the body. The nutritive materials allow the cells to form three-dimensional structures, as in real tissues, rather than flattening into a single layer in a dish. The experiments are revealing the many ways that cells' immediate surroundings guide their behaviors.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content