The ability to prod stem cells into three-dimensional tissue models makes for a powerful way to study human biology. But these exciting tools are still works in progress.
Life happens in (at least) three dimensions. Studying its molecular and cellular basis in flat cells attached to hard plastic, revealing though this is about some aspects of biology, will only take us so far. But scientists have recently added a shiny new tool to their belts: three-dimensional multicellular stem-cell-derived constructs that mimic in vivo tissue, or organoids. For their fascinating potential as tools to probe human biology and disease, we have chosen organoids as Method of the Year 2017.