Biomedical engineer and anesthesiologist Laura Niklason and her collaborators have built artificial blood vessels that appear to function just like the real thing—and outperform other artificial veins with their long shelf life and low risk of rejection. The bioengineered veins, derived from human cells growing on a biodegradable frame, have been tested in baboons; human trials are planned. The report appeared in Science Translational Medicine.


Astronomer Pieter van Dokkum and his colleagues have spotted what they believe is the oldest galaxy yet discovered. Writing in Nature, the team reports that a faint smudge seen by the recently rebuilt Hubble Space Telescope represents a galaxy as it existed only about 500 million years after the Big Bang. The sighting provides insight into a previously unobserved early development phase of the universe.


Chemist Seth Herzon and his team have developed an 11-step process for synthesizing a potent anti-tumor molecule called lomaiviticin aglycon. The molecule, made naturally by Micromonospora bacteria, was previously impossible to create in the laboratory. Herzon details the procedure in a study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The substance has shown unusual potential to eliminate the cancer stem cells involved in tumor recurrence.


When choosing between a minor instant gratification and a larger delayed payoff, people and other primates typically opt for the short-term reward. In the journal Neuron, neurobiologist Daeyeol Lee and his colleagues have now described how key firing patterns of basal ganglia cells in the rhesus monkey brain vary with the timing and magnitude of a reward. By advancing understanding of the brain's functioning during decision making, such research may help lead to more-effective therapies for impulse-control disorders.  


The comment period has expired.