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Lab Grown Internal Organs-Succesful Animal Transplant 31

Anonymous Coward writes "Internal organs grown in the laboratory have been successfully transplanted into animals for the first time. The achievement heralds a new era in tissue engineering and transplant medicine in which patients could receive new organs made of their own cells. Guess I don't have to quit smoking :) " Well, looks like I will be having drink(s) while watching the tonight.
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Lab Grown Internal Organs-Succesful Animal Transplant

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  • Posted by K8_Fan:

    Late in the article it gingerly touched on the shaky part of the whole arena: stem cells. These "undifferentiated" proto-cells can theoretically grow into any type of cell. There are a bunch of people who would like to stop all research in this area - because the best source of stem cells is aborted fetuses.

    Technology Review had an article [] about this in their Jul/Aug 1998 issue.

  • Posted by K8_Fan:

    Ah, my mistake. They are harvesting them from umbilical cords and placentas.

  • The french were flying heavier then air devices wtih a wing shape when the wright brothers were in the craddle. (well, maybe not quite that long, but a long time) The difference is the Frech were taking 150 foot uncontrolled hops that often resulted in death.

    The wright brothers managed to go from 150 foot hops (that lukily didn't kill them) in 1902 to several hour flights limited only by the fuel (capcaity and weight) in 1904.

    BTW, the french then took what the wright brothers did and made it into a useful airplane, the Wright brothers built the first prototyupe, but the french refined it.

  • Advances don't just happen one day, typically, they start as small and simple things (like a bladder wall). Nobody said they could all retire now.

    It IS an important step. After all, many important organs have a fairly simple structure. The point here is that if a bladder wall can be grown, and function in the body, how far away is a reasonably functional pancreas?

    A lung would be terribly hard using a scaffolding technique. A heart will probably happen first.

    Think for a moment what the heart is. A muscular sack divided into four chambers by simple valves. Add to that the sinous (sp?) nodes, and you might well have a reasonably functional heart. It would probably beat a lifetime of immune supression and the associated risks. Before that, perhaps a ventricle assist device that doesn't require a backpack full of batteries to operate.

  • Or more likely you'll have a mass of heart cells in the shape of the heart that cannot and won't beat like a heart because it isn't a heart.

    Only if the sinous (still SP?) nodes don't work out. That's what makes the mass of cells that IS a heart beat. If all else fails, a pacemaker can supply a reasonable beat. ( Any living muscle WILL contract if stimulated by electricity). As for opening and closing valves, heart valves are passive. They are simple check valves. BTW, man made heart valves have been in use for decades.

    Finally, the bladder is more than a sack. It must relax for most of the time so urine can flow in from the kidneys, and then contract as it nears capacity so the urine may be expelled. Otherwise, they'd have been replaceable with plastic years ago.

  • Aside from the obvious joy of scientific advancement, specifically what has been accomplished is growing material native to ones insides on the outside... material that won't make your body go into rejection and shock if you put it back IN.

    Yes, it's just a membraneous mass... yes, it's just a bladder, etc.

    But it's a bladder that will survive as your own body's tissue, with NO rejection possibilities, thereby avoiding stress on your system, and allowing you to avoid those nasty anti-rejection, immunity supressing drugs... Many deaths are caused by post-operative infections. Anything to make your body achieve full health after an operation is a Very Good Thing(tm).

    Bear also in mind that, nine times out of ten, one DOESN'T NEED a full organ to replace an existing one. Partial organs, specific valuable membranes, or even just sufficient mass to 'patch up' a damaged organ is a big step forward... and with the amazing advances in cloning and genetic manipulation already in progress, the day won't be far when you'll be able to plug a quarter into the heart-o-matic and have it spit out a throbbing, fully formed bundle of heart muscle at you.

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • of meat technology--the lack of proper L2 cache for throughput.
  • This may have unwanted consiquences as well. It could push other organs to the side and for pregnant woment this could cause serious problems.

  • 1) The organ lasted for 10 months because it was transplanted ... 10 months ago IDIOT!
    2) It CAN'T be rejected. Period.
    BTW what your credentials?
  • The most worthwhile mass-use of this technology would be to enhance the size of the average person's bladder.

    Who wouldn't love to double the size of their own resevoir? Instead of desperately looking for a restroom in the mall, you can wait until you get home.

    Of course, the resulting flow from greater capacity may require deeper toilet bowls to prevent spillage.

    Just imagine the great trajectory and distance one could gain. And you'll be able to have enough 'ink' to write more than just your name in the snow...

  • I don't know about you, but while I watched Atlanta get it's head handed to them, I drank beer.

    Quite a bit of beer, ergo the need for more bladder space! How could I justify missing a single commercial, or a flubbed intereception in exchange for meeting bodily needs??

    If this new field of tissue replacement (or enhancement hey? :) doesn't excite you, just think about coding for 12 hours at a shot w/ your new Extenda-Bladder the 4 liter bladder for the Hacker on the go! (no more annoying bathroom breaks or catheter meltdowns!)

    (ingest large grain of salt at this point kids.. )

    I'm actually quite glad to see any work done in the field of organ replacement, even this primitive stuff is going to lead to exciting new levels of acceptable abuse of the 'Ol meatware, and as a long time Caffeine addict I would volunteer to be the 1st for a new set of kidneys and a bigger bladder at the drop of a hat. :)


    "The secret of the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment of existence is: To
    live dangerously!" -- Nietzsche
  • Guess what ? In Europe it takes decades to make a law about public toilets, but the guys managed to Ban this stuff already. Great - obviously not their problem all those people who die because of organs not being available for transplant. Unbelivable - do politicians know what the Yuck factor is ? they seem to be quite affected by least in the old continent. It is a CNN or BCC article, but I can't find it anymore. The decision was taken by some European Commission/Council, and it affects both human and animal tsting - well, I guess they will just buy the technology from the US when their brains finally start running.
  • If you don't have a bladder, you have to drill a hole in your stomach and let your piss drain into a bag. I forgot what this procedure is called, but i've heard that it stinks like HELL!
  • All they did was grow a mass of bladder cells in the lab, then sew them together in the shape of a complete organ. When they did the transplant, they left the complex bits of the old organ in place (the input and output ports, so to speak), so all they really did was replace old bladder wall with new tissue.

    A bit far from a lung or liver being grown as a complete organ.

    Of course there are *lots* of places where this could be life saving technology. Even if we can't get a new liver for our glorious leader yet, we might be able to replace some of the worn out cells in the old one.


  • silly...toilets gradually drain out as you fill them up...the way to bigger bladders has been paved for us, sieze the day!!

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. -- Henry David Thoreau