No longer do scientists look down on macrophages as “garbage men” that act “nonspecifically.” Last fall’s Nobel Prizes honored two of the few scientists who studied macrophages three decades ago. Now perhaps thousands do, and the subtypes they describe reflect ongoing discoveries of macrophages’ extraordinary plasticity.
Endothelial cells from human umbilical veins were first cultured nearly four decades ago, initiating explosive growth in research in vascular biology and leading to major insights into angiogenesis, vasculogenesis, and tumor biology. Recent studies now promise to open new horizons in regenerative medicine as well as organ engineering.
Ralph L. Nachman
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