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Biotech Medicine Science

Chemical Cocktail Can Keep a Heart Viable 10 Days, Outside the Body 97

nj_peeps writes "Harvard professor Hemant Thatte has developed a cocktail of 21 chemical compounds that he calls Somah, derived from the Sanskrit for 'ambrosia of rejuvenation.' Using Somah, Thatte and his team have accomplished some amazing feats with pig hearts. They can keep the organ viable for transplant up to 10 days after harvest — far longer than the four-hour limit seen in hospitals today. Not only that, but using low temperatures and Somah, they were able to take a pig heart that was removed post mortem and get it to beat 24 hours later in the lab."
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Chemical Cocktail Can Keep a Heart Viable 10 Days, Outside the Body

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  • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @12:41AM (#32217192) Journal

    Neato. If this could be applied to human hearts, this could significantly open the options organ recipients have to save their lives. Perhaps even expand what kind of medical procedures that could be done on the human heart that may be limited by how long the heart can be kept viable outside the body.

  • Hydrogen Sulfide (Score:4, Interesting)

    by harley78 ( 746436 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:55AM (#32217554)
    Along with research done by Mark Roth with H2S, this could save lots of people.
  • by Valacosa ( 863657 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @03:43AM (#32217944)

    Wow, way to read into my post, dude.

    Something most Slashdotters probably know is that science journalism is very derivative. Since a lot of journalists don't know squat about science, most of them just end up regurgitating stuff. Sometimes random irrelevant facts are added, sometimes important information is stripped out. Mentioning that both hearts are from sows without mentioning why seems strange. There could be a reason why, or it could have just been an extraneous fact that was included..

    Now, the sentence from TFA [] ("Thatte and his group harvested two female pig hearts and placed them in two different containers.") is very similar to a sentence in a cited source here [] ("The researchers harvested hearts from female pigs, stored them in one of the two solutions, then biopsied them at several points over the next four hours.") Was there an original story somewhere that said why sow hearts were preferable, or was it just a random detail that someone added without context? Unfortunately, I can't access what appears to be the original paper [] at the moment to find out either way.

    I have been paid to work in a research lab. I have also been paid to work for a newspaper. The interaction between science and the media fascinates me. And in my experience, there's a lot of truth to this comic [].

    Why would the gender of the heart donors matter?

    The question is, why wouldn't it? Do you know? I don't.

    Yeah, I'm hoping for a response from someone who does know. Thanks for making gross, incorrect assumptions about me, though.

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