Organoids are miniaturized organs cultured in vitro. There are great expectations for its potential, including understanding of the mechanism of organ development, construction of disease models, search for new drugs, and application to regenerative medicine. Now, balloons imitating organoids are flying over the city one after another to announce the advent of a new era. The row of the buildings on the lower right looks like intestinal absorptive cells and Paneth cells lined up. For drawing the balloons, we referred to the following papers: From left, cerebral neocortex (Seto and Eiraku (2019) Neurosci. Res. 138, 33-42), intestine (Lancaster and Knoblich (2014) Science 345, 1247125), and optic cup (Sasai et al. (2012) Development 139, 4111-4121).
A kingfisher holding an aluminum ion flies toward hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). Hydrangea flowers have a wide variety of colors, but the pigment is the same, delphinidin 3-glucoside, in both red and blue flowers. One of the keys that makes flowers blue is aluminum ions, and it is believed that the formation of a complex between delphinidin 3-glucoside, aluminum ion and copigment (e.g. 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid) results in blue flowers (Ito et al., (2018) Molecules 23, 1424). Three aluminum transporters have been identified in hydrangea so far, one of which was reported in Genes to Cells (Negishi et al., (2013) Genes to Cells 18, 341-352).