Cyber-tissue successfully grown

This comes compliments of , a website I highly recommend. And people say the technology in my latest series of books (Code X by Harlequin Romantic Suspense) is implausible. Hah! I'm not even writing about what's really out there on the leading edge of medical research! Genetic engineering is kid stuff compared to this...

Cyborg tissue grown at Harvard.
What's a cyborg? A cybernetic organism, a blending of animal and machine. That's just what researchers at Harvard University have done: they've grown living tissue around an electronic structure.

Fear not; it's not going to jump up and attack us. What they did was to create a conventional collagen lattice of the type that we usually use to grow living tissue and replacement organs, but before seeding it with rat heart cells, they wove nanoscale wires and transistors through the lattice, creating a sensor network. Once the tissue grew into a functioning, beating heart, they were able to read data from it, such as the heart rate.

As a second step, they also grew a tiny half-inch section of human blood vessel in the same manner, creating an "active" blood vessel that's able to sense things like inflammation.

Applications are not clear, but the obvious direction is healthcare. A possible application is the growth and testing of experimental replacement organs without having to use human testing.