Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech Science

Grow Your Own Heart Valves 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the congen-circulatory-sphincters dept.
jcr writes "Medical researchers in Britain have succeeded in growing a heart valve from adult stem cells taken from bone marrow. The research is being reported in the journal of the Royal Society today. Growing a heart value from your own cells means that tissue rejection isn't an issue."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Grow Your Own Heart Valves

Comments Filter:
  • Whole heart next? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crow (16139) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:29AM (#20463915) Homepage Journal
    So how far does this leave us from growing a whole heart? Or other organs?

    At some point, transplants from donors will be for emergencies only, and the shortages and wait lists will be a thing of the past.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by devC (1143613)
      It is amazing that they did this with adult stem cells and not embryonic stem cells. I wonder why the big push for embryonic stem cells?
      • Re:Whole heart next? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jimstapleton (999106) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:37AM (#20464013) Journal
        embryonic are omni-potential, instead of just pluripotential.

        Until the last two or three years (if I remember correctly, the time frame may be off), with adult stem cells, they can grow a limited set of tissues only. Even now it takes work to make adult stem cells able to differentiate into any other cells. Embryonic stemm cells however can change into anything, without any modification. They are much easier to work with, and as of a couple of years ago they were the only option.

        I can't remember if they can now make adult stem cells omni-potential, or just increase their potential to add just a few more cell types.
        • by devC (1143613)
          That clears it up some. Thanks. This is a very big topic obviously, and it seems there is a lot of misunderstanding.
          • by dbrutus (71639)
            The problem is that omni-potential cells might not be a good thing. Embryonic stem cell treatments seem to have a lot of extra problems with tumor formation which is one of the reasons why we don't have any such treatments approved by medical bodies. Cancer is radical change in cell function. Change is not always good.
            • Interesting... it would seem that using adult stem cells has more than one benefit. It almost makes me think that all the Anti-Stem cell research rallying had a silver lining in that it shifted work towards adult stem cells.

              If not for being being denied the ability to work with undeveloped stem cells would as much work have been done with Adult Stem cells? and would we still be seeing these kinds of results today?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Dausha (546002)
          "Embryonic stemm (sic) cells however can change into anything, without any modification. They are much easier to work with, and as of a couple of years ago they were the only option."

          However, left to his own devices in his native environment, a human embryo will develop into an autonomous human. You are taking a life and converting it into property without giving that life a chance to decide.How does harvesting an embryo not equate to slavery? We Americans fought a war over this 150 years ago, and I find i
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by locokamil (850008)
            Why the devil has parent been modded flamebait? Just because he doesn't agree with the groupthink doesn't mean that it's a null/void opinion!
            • by LEgregius (550408)

              It's flamebait because it's written in an angry tone and is "baiting" people to start a flame war. The same post could have been rewritten with a different tone and not been flamebait. A tone like that won't win many people over.

              I'm not sure I can see calling it slavery. Cannibalism would be more appropriate, and just as flamebaiting. Even then, I think it would matter the source of the stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have been created without using an embryo. I those cases, a human life was neve

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Dausha (546002)
                "It's flamebait because it's written in an angry tone and is 'baiting' people to start a flame war."

                It wasn't meant in an angry tone. This is exactly a question, raised 1.5 years ago in my law school Health Law class, somebody else posed to a PhD Bio-ethicist. He avoided answering the question, and I thought somebody here could pose an answer. Whenever somebody's right of autonomy is stripped and the person reduced to property status, we call it slavery. (Voluntary renunciation of autonomy would be indentur
                • by drDugan (219551)
                  Arguably, the embryo is a person...

                  No. An embryo is an embryo, not a person.

                  A seed is a seed, not a tree.

                  Or a better analogy is: Flour and eggs are flour and eggs, not a cake.

                  An embryo would NOT become a human on its own, and this is why we do not treat it as a human. On its own, an embryo stops growing and developing, almost immediately.

                  An embryo cannot communicate at all, thus it cannot consent. Trees communicate and react more than embryos do, and there is no moral problem keeping and controlling tree
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by Jhon (241832) *

                    An embryo would NOT become a human on its own, and this is why we do not treat it as a human. On its own, an embryo stops growing and developing, almost immediately.
                    An infant would NOT become a human on its own, and this is why we do not treat it as a human. On its own, an infant stops growing and devoloping, almost immediately.
                    • by drDugan (219551)
                      Your statement is correct, we do not treat an infant as "a human" (meaning: an adult). We treat them as infants, and care for them as they need to be cared for.

                      What point are you trying to make? Would you like the reader to jump to the conclusion that because of this similarity we would then treat embryos as we treat infants? Someone has marked this comment as "insightful" - but I don't see why.

                    • by Jhon (241832) *

                      Someone has marked this comment as "insightful" - but I don't see why.

                      Obviously.

                      Would you like the reader to jump to the conclusion that because of this similarity we would then treat embryos as we treat infants?

                      Would you like the reader to jump to the conclusion that because of relationship of seed to tree that we should treat embryos as seeds? Shouldn't we therefore treat infants as saplings? How about a novel approach: Let's treat embryos as embryos?

                      We treat them as infants, and care for them as

                • "Arguably, the embryo is a person (or would be left to his one devices). Destroying the embryo to create stem cells is not voluntary, and it reduces the embryo to mere property. Thus, how is it not slavery?"

                  First of all you can argue that an embryo is a person but it would not be a strong argument. An embryo does not have a free will. Nor is it self-aware or does it have a conscience, as it does not yet have a functioning brain.
                  Secondly, I understand that you are argueing from a juridical point of view, but
              • by buswolley (591500)
                flame war, or stimulating conversation? making people think? etc?
            • by Ash Vince (602485)

              Why the devil has parent been modded flamebait?
              Currently I see it as having been modded funny. That is a much better description.
            • by ncc74656 (45571) *

              Why the devil has parent been modded flamebait? Just because he doesn't agree with the groupthink doesn't mean that it's a null/void opinion!

              You must be new here.

              #ifndef _SARCASM_H
              #include <sarcasm.h>

              Anyone who disagrees with the Slashbot hive-mind is obviously a reichwing Christianist deathbeast who must be silenced by the oh-so-tolerant-of-diverse-opinions progressives.

              #endif

              What I found disappointing was that the original poster in this thread was surprised that it was adult stem cells

          • by Runefox (905204)
            See, not that I disagree, but there's a very big flaw in that argument in that there isn't a clear line drawn - Same with the abortion debate.

            So taking an embryo and using it for science is wrong, it's murder, etc, etc. Yes, I agree to some extent. What about all the potential humans flushed down the toilet by those dreadful female teens during their period? Shouldn't they be forced to mate at every opportunity to enable the ovum of the month the chance to become a human being? After all, women typically ov [wikipedia.org]
            • by Saganaga (167162)
              Actually this is pretty simple...simple enough for a 4-year old to understand. Sperm and eggs, separately, are not human beings. When they join together, they form into a human being. If you remember your high school biology, the sperm and egg each only have half the DNA needed to form a human. Once the egg is fertilized, only then do you have a human.

              This is true for any organism that reproduces sexually, by the way.
              • So, for example, if I go in with my wife, and they harvest my sperm and her eggs, and fertilize 10 or so eggs (common practice) and we end up only needing one fertilized egg to be implanted and the other 9 stay on a freezer shelf for a few years before they are routinely discarded, does that make the person who discarded them a mass murderer?

                By your example, yes. It is often these embryo's which are almost always destroyed, that could be used for stem cell research...It's not all about abortion. Not even cl
                • by dbrutus (71639)
                  If somebody would like to adopt those 9 embryos, implant them, and bring them to term, what is the problem with that? Look up snowflake babies and you'll see that there is pro-choice resistence to the practice.

                  There is nothing inevitable about discarding embryos.
                  • Well I don't think "adopt" is an appropriate term...If I was a sperm donor, no one would be "adopting" my sperm...It's a donation, like a blood, kidney, or bone marrow donation.

                    That being said, I'd have no problem donating an embryo. The problem is, the number of embryo's created every year far outstrips the demand. My example of 9 extra embryos is reasonable. Some people have even more created, especially if they're trying to select around a hereditary condition or something.

                    So, for every couple who goes i
                    • by dbrutus (71639)
                      Donation implies that the embryo is property. For a lot of people that's very objectionable.

                      Your supply/demand curve is off by a few factors. You rarely implant one embryo. It's an expensive procedure and often they don't take. This is why you have so many stories of multiple births due to IVF. So out of those 10 embryos, the original donor would probably use 2-4 and if they had excess implantation, selectively reduce (which is one of the major reasons why the Church is against IVF, it promotes abortion). Y
              • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward
                Actually this is pretty simple...simple enough for a 4-year old to understand ... Once the egg is fertilized, only then do you have a human.

                Why, because you said so? What criteria are you using for what makes a human being a human being? For that matter, given that there is no widespread consensus on the issue of what "life" is, exactly, in any of the major fields of interest - biology, religion, psychology, philosophy - which is why it's an issue to begin with, upon what authority do you draw from to make
              • by Runefox (905204)
                I understand that, but just because it requires intervention doesn't mean that action shouldn't be taken to ensure that these two ingredients to humanity, while they exist, shouldn't be put to the highest possible potential to form as many new humans as possible, to give them the chance at life that the argument always talks about. Where a woman who is perpetually pregnant and having children could bring life to a great number of new humans, a woman who is abstinent will deny that potential for life to thos
                • by Saganaga (167162)
                  You call both a sperm/egg and a fertilized egg "potential" human life, but by doing so you are displaying your bias against the status of a fertilized egg as a full member of the human family. In my opinion, once an egg is fertilized, something fundamental has changed and a new person has been formed.

                  If you don't believe that full personhood begins at conception, then when do you believe it begins? If your answer is "I don't know", then shouldn't you err on the side of caution and support the protection o
                  • by Belial6 (794905)
                    The reason that a fertilized egg is referred to as a "Potential" human life is because it is not a human. No bias needed.

                    "If you don't believe that full personhood begins at conception, then when do you believe it begins?" It happens gradually. There is no magic point that you are instantly human. That is why we DO err on the side of caution, and don't allow abortions a week before a due date. While we might not know exactly when the line is crossed between organ and human, we do know that it is not
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by plague3106 (71849)
            However, left to his own devices in his native environment, a human embryo will develop into an autonomous human.

            No, there could be a miscarrage.

            You are taking a life and converting it into property without giving that life a chance to decide.

            We do the same thing to other living things all the time. We kill catapillers before they become butterflys.

            How does harvesting an embryo not equate to slavery?

            Because its a mass of cells, and not a human being? There's no brain, arms, legs, heart, anything. It cann
          • However, left to his own devices in his native environment, a human embryo will develop into an autonomous human.


            A human embryo has no native environment ("native environment" being the environment in which you are born), and left to its own devices, a human embryo will, fairly certainly, die.
          • by Yvanhoe (564877)
            Hmmm, I like spinning.
            From what I understand, being able to bring an adult stem cell to be omni-potential means that it could be made to evolve into an embryo and then a living human being (a clone). So who is to say that this life should not be protected ? Does religion even have a point of view on the issue ? If every unicellular life is sacred as long as a complete human DNA is present, and that it can evolve into a full life, should we preserve amputated members as soon as adult stem cell research is s
            • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
              From what I understand, being able to bring an adult stem cell to be omni-potential means that it could be made to evolve into an embryo and then a living human being (a clone). So who is to say that this life should not be protected ? Does religion even have a point of view on the issue ? If every unicellular life is sacred as long as a

              The only reference in the Bible I know of to abortion is the punishment for causing miscarriage by hitting a woman, but not otherwise hurting her (which has a separate, much
        • What's to stop harvesting stem cells from a fetus which is then returned to the womb and carried to term? Nobody could get upset about benefiting from the use of one's own stem cells.
        • There are people doing embryonic stem-cell research, they simply are not government/public funded here in the U.S.

          From what I can see, however, the folks doing research with the adult-stem-cells are outpacing embryonic research by leaps and bounds.

          This sounds like a bona-fide adult-stem-cell success.

          From what a vaguely remember, the embryonic-stem-cell experiments have either failed outright, or ultimately failed after initial success. We've heard lots of promises, but adult-stem-cells are delivering, wher
          • A lot more money is being thrown at adult stem cell research - it's really not comparible which is more useful from the start.

            You put $10B into research on ethanol from corn, vs $100K into research for ethanol from cane... Which one will show up better? Which one is actually better?

            The scales were weighted and the measurement isn't good.
            • by Firethorn (177587)
              A good point; the ethical dilemmas of embryonic stem cell research has resulted in a comparative lack of funds.

              Another argument would be that embryonic stem cell research is 'higher level' research - more theoretical than practical. The lessons learned there could filter down and help adult stem cell research develop practical treatments.

              For one thing, without some extensive modification you'll have problems with immune systems rejecting the cells; just like with transplanted organs unless you make it a ha
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Hercynium (237328)

          Embryonic stem cells however can change into anything, without any modification. They are much easier to work with, ...

          Just to put in some requisite corrections to some popular (mis) understandings...

          The clause, 'without any modification' is flat out wrong, applied to either type of stem cell.

          I'm not a stem cell researcher myself, but It's my understanding that adult stem (AS) cells are actually easier to work with. In addition they're clearly more readily available. That being said, this is all the bleeding edge of medical and life science and *nothing* is 'easy'

          ... and as of a couple of years ago they were the only option.

          I'm assuming what you mean by this statement is that 'they

          • I'm not a stem cell researcher myself

            Well, if a "and never have been" is in there, that makes one of us.

            OCKQUOTE>Embryonic stem cells however can change into anything, without any modification. They are much easier to work with, ...

            Just to put in some requisite corrections to some popular (mis) understandings...

            The clause, 'without any modification' is flat out wrong, applied to either type of stem cell.

            I'm not a stem cell researcher myself, but It's my understanding that adult stem (AS) cells are actua

        • by will_die (586523)
          Embroyonic stem cells are not easier to work with and were not the only options, try to find some actual medical articles that use them.
          Embryonic stems cells gain of press after articles started coming out about non-embryonic stem cells. Since embryonic stem cells have the potential of doing alot more, ignoring all the additional problems they cause, when the stem cell craze started alot of venture capitalist started investing in them. After pumping a bunch of money in embryonic stem cells it came up tha
    • by jcr (53032)
      Today the values, tomorrow the ventricles!

      I don't doubt that we'll eventually be able to grow a new heart for any patient that needs one. Hopefully before I need one..

      -jcr
  • Yeah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bigattichouse (527527) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:29AM (#20463919) Homepage
    As the owner of a slightly defective valve, I feel encouraged that when the time comes, I'll have my own supply of spare parts. (Or will be able to use loaners while mine are being grown.) Good work, folks!
    • I have to echo your sentiments with a loud "Hell Yeah!".

      As the father of somone with a slightly defective valve. We have been told that at some point in the future this valve will need to be replaced. How wonderful it is that the replacement will no longer need be reduced to the choices of cadaver, pig, or mechanical.
    • This news is exactly why I've put off getting a replacement: so long as the incomplete valve I have does its job adequately, 'tis better to wait for better technology to develop. Wait long enough, and voila - new identical replacement parts become available.
    • OEM parts (Score:4, Funny)

      by thejuggler (610249) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @10:35AM (#20464769) Homepage Journal
      I guess this means that we are now using OEM parts instead of third-party knock-offs.
    • by Bob-taro (996889)

      As the owner of a slightly defective valve, I feel encouraged that when the time comes, I'll have my own supply of spare parts.
      I wonder what the chances are that if you have a defective valve, any valves created from your stem cells would also be defective. Has there been a sci-fi movie about growing full clones for "spare" organs?
    • by j_snare (220372)
      As the new owner of a shiny new mechanical replacement for my own defective valve, I wish these would have come out a couple years ago. Heh.

      However, I would mention, don't make plans to go through this several times. Your doctor will generally tell you to minimize the times you have an operation. Listen to him well. It sucks. And it sucks more each subsequent time. And to top it off, there's the wonderful non-zero risk every time.

      I look forward to the day when we don't have to use cheap replacements,
  • by pscottdv (676889) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:32AM (#20463943)

    Growing a heart value from your own cells means that tissue rejection isn't an issue

    What slashdotters need is a way to grow a girlfriend from their own cells.

    • by UPZ (947916)
      For that you'd still need a backbone ;)
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by eln (21727) *
      If you have sex with your own clone, is that still incest?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Applekid (993327)

        If you have sex with your own clone, is that still incest?
        Masturbation perhaps?
        • by cellocgw (617879)
          If you have sex with your own clone, is that still incest?
          Masturbation perhaps?

          This exact set of jokes about clones showed up in a SciFi short story in the mid-60s (I believe). I can't recall the author or title for the life of me, but the story concerned a large number of clones (magically turned into both sexes) who worked as a team, mining something out of some remote planet. The two non-clone supervisors found it very difficult to understand the social interactions, etc etc.
          • by mazarin5 (309432)
            In a similar vein, Isaac Asimov wrote a song about clones:

            The Clone Song
            By: Isaac Asimov
            Tune: Home On The Range

            Oh, give me a clone \ Of my own flesh and bone
            With its Y chromosome changed to X.
            And after it's grown, \ Then my own little clone
            Will be of the opposite sex.

            Clone, clone of my own,
            With its Y chromosome changed to X.
            And when I'm alone \ With my own little clone
            We will both think of nothing but sex.

            Oh, give me a clone, \ Is my sorrowful moan,
            A clone that is wholly my own.
            And if she's X-X, \ And the feminine sex,
            Oh, what fun we will have when we're prone.

            Clone, clone of my own,
            With its Y chromosome changed to X.
            And when I'm alone \ With my own little clone
            We will both think of nothing but sex.

            My heart's not of stone, \ As I've frequently shone
            When alone with my own little X.
            And after we've dined, \ I am sure we will find
            Better incest then Oedipus Rex.

            Clone, clone of my own,
            With its Y chromosome changed to X.
            And when I'm alone \ With my own little clone
            We will both think of nothing but sex.

            Why should such sex vex, \ Or disturb or perplex,
            Or induce a disparaging tone?
            After all, don't you see, \ Since we're both of us me,
            When we're having sex, I'm alone.

            Clone, clone of my own,
            With its Y chromosome changed to X.
            And when I'm alone \ With my own little clone
            We will both think of nothing but sex.

            And after I'm done \ She will still have her fun,
            For I'll clone myself twice ere I die.
            And this time without fail, \ They'll be both of them male,
            And they'll each ravage her by and by.

            Clone, clone of my own,
            With its Y chromosome changed to X.
            And when I'm alone \ With my own little clone
            We will both think of nothing but sex.

    • by Miykayl (841085)

      That's a good idea... I think there are numerous slashdotters that are sufficiently in love with themselves to prefer a their clone... Wait... what about the gender! Oh No! What have WE DONE?!?
      • by Firethorn (177587)
        Simple enough; remove the Y chromosome and substitute a duplicate X.

        Make sure you screen for some defeciences first though.
  • by slughead (592713) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:35AM (#20463987) Homepage Journal
    Tissue rejection isn't an issue with heart valves (one of the few tissues where it's not a problem).

    The problem with heart valves is that if you replace one with, say, a pig valve, it won't grow. For adults, this is not a problem, but for kids, it means they'll have to have a replacement in a few years as their heart literally grows out of the valve(s).

    This new grow-your-own approach would probably be best for children. For adults, however, heart valve replacement is actually fairly routine and requires no anti-rejection drugs afterwards.
    • by ambulatorybird (1151807) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:50AM (#20464145)
      I've had a valve replacement myself, and I believe there are two problems: (1) pig valve: those are basically like leather, and they wear out after 5 years, requiring replacement even in adults. And open heart surgery isn't normally something one wants to have on a regular basis. (2) artificial valve: blood clots form on them, requiring the patient to take anticoagulant drugs for the rest of his life.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by cayle clark (166742)

        When I was getting ready to have my aortic valve replaced, the surgeon showed me a porcine valve; in appearance it is nothing like leather, but rather an incredibly thin and flexible structure. The aortic valve is not like a flap valve, but more like three little plastic grocery bags hung from the sides of a pipe. When blood flows one way, the leaflets collapse against the wall; when it flows the other way, whap, they fill up and block the tube.

        There is no rejection problem with porcine or bovine heart v

      • by Dwedit (232252)
        Are you sure the lifetime of a pig valve is that low? I took a class about the history of artificial organs, and recall reading about newer generation processing to pig valves to make them last at least 15 years.
  • [humor mode on]
    Of course the British are working on doing this in labs. They lost all their colonies. But we don't need this stuff; this kind of thing is what Puerto Rico is for :)
  • by FlyByPC (841016) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:36AM (#20463997) Homepage
    ...won't this be a problem if there's a genetic defect in the patient's heart valves? In other words, won't the replacement be following the same DNA blueprint, and have the same problems?

    IANanMD, but I would think this would pose problems with usability, wouldn't it?
    • by Stonent1 (594886)
      Well if the valve failed because a defect in the formation as it grew, you'd be able to see that defect while it was growing in the lab and if it didn't have the defect, it could be implanted.
    • by Jack9 (11421)
      My aorta was perforated due to external developmental interference (virulent infection).
      A stem cell replacement would develop normally (theoretically). The chances that I'd actually let them put such a "replacement" in me is very very low as it would not have been properly "worn" for my age and lifestyle (history of running marathons and intense workouts). The mechanicals are very efficient and I wouldn't trust a vat valve for my aorta today. I'm just not the guinea-pig type.
    • by Renraku (518261)
      Sometimes.

      Sometimes its genetic. Sometimes a cosmic ray hit one of the stem cells crawling down to develop the original. Sometimes the mother's alcohol intake interfered with the proper acquisition of nutrients and scaffolding to build it properly.
  • ...and the anti-genetic manipulation extremists will take issue with this kind of research. The religious folks will say we're playing god and that it's not good to fight his will. "If his will was for you to have faulty heart valves that it's probably a punishment because you've done something wrong. Maybe you didn't support president Bush, or you faltered in your stance against gays, or you said 'hi' to a liberal moonbat, or didn't tithe on Sunday. Whatever the case, you're a sinner and deserve to bur
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Broken scope (973885)
      Wow.... I'm impressed, you made that jump from stem cell research to the war for oil was one of the smoothest I have ever seen during my time on slashdot. /Bow
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Gordonjcp (186804)
      The religious folks will say we're playing god and that it's not good to fight his will.

      You'll notice that a lot of them are strongly against abortion, but all for fertility treatment, even though it's rather more like playing God...
    • You're kidding, right? You say that you are not being hyperbolic because you have dealt with people actually think and say things like this. Have you actually met anyone who said all of that? Perhaps there are some wackos out there that think like that, but I think that you will find that most Christian Fundamentalists have no problem with such research.

      I cannot believe that this post got rated 4 Interesting! It is a troll and a screed. If you need any more evidence of this, just look at the last parag
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      Everytime you put someone on a life support machine you're playing god. Every time you use medical science to save a life you're playing god.

      Me, I just wish we'd play god a bit more often. We seem to be a bit more enthusiastic about playing the other bloke.
  • by aadvancedGIR (959466) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @10:02AM (#20464281)
    Real geeks build their own pacemaker.
  • I'm open to it.

    Too soon?

  • by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @10:17AM (#20464509)
    If it's being reported in a proper journal, do we have a link to the journal itself rather than something from the Daily Hysteria?

    The Daily Mail is famous for blowing medical reports out of all proportion - they "cure cancer" an average of 2 or 3 times a year.
  • by mavi_yelken (801565)
    The procedure is still untested in animal experiments, meaning they don't know if transplanted it will work at all but this is certainly encouraging. Best of luck to Dr. Yacoub and his team.

    Also I couldn't find a link to the paper by Dr. Yacoub which should have been here [royalsoc.ac.uk]

  • Yay heart valves (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    As a person born with a bicuspid Aorta valve (In other words, my Aorta valve, the valve that pumps blood to most of the body, has two flaps instead of three) this excites me greatly. Since I was born I've had to live every year with the possibility that I would have to have a mechanical implant if I ever overexerted my heart. I truly, truly hope that this caches on, not just for me but for the 1 in 300 (According to my cardiologist the number is that high) people who have the same or similar conditions to
  • How many years does it take to grow a replacement part? Do we need to start growing replacement bodies a few months after birth in order to have a ready supply of spare parts?
  • by marol (734015) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:18PM (#20466347)
    I grew my own heart valve once.
    • >>I grew my own heart valve once. (ha ha)

      For this to be scientific, you have to be able to reproduce the results and grow it again :P

  • So now all we have to do is pay a doctor a lot of money to punch big holes in our sides, through our bones, to harvest our stemcells, a painful core sample [google.com].

    Why can't we use some of the 400,000 blastocysts discarded by fertility clinics every year?

    Then we'd just need the expensive second surgery to implant them, or the tissue externally grown from them in a lab. Eventually maybe we'll get a stemcell pill, or better yet, some kind of herbal tea that stimulates our own stemcells. But first let's get rid of the

One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.

Working...