Growing new human hearts

Discussion in 'Locker Room' started by Danielson, Jan 12, 2014.

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    The problem: More than 3,200 people are on thewaiting list for a heart transplant in the United States. Some won't survive the wait. Last year, 340 died before a new heart was found.

    The solution: Take a pig heart, soak it in an ingredient commonly found in shampoo and wash away the cells until you're left with a protein scaffold that is to a heart what two-by-four framing is to a house.

    Then inject that ghost heart, as it's called, with hundreds of millions of blood or bone-marrow stem cells from a person who needs a heart transplant, place it in a bioreactor -- a box with artificial lungs and tubes that pump oxygen and blood into it -- and wait as the ghost heart begins to mature into a new, beating human heart.

    Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, has been working on this -- first using rat hearts, then pig hearts and human hearts -- for years.

    She has grown rat and pig hearts, but not human hearts -- yet.

    That's her goal.

    It's most likely years off, but it's a pretty sure bet it will happen.

    Researchers believe the human hearts, just like the animal ones,won't be rejected because they'll be custom-made using the recipient's stem cells. That means future transplantpatients won't have to take anti-rejection medication and won't have to put up with the side effects that accompany those drugs: an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney failure. They won't have to undergo dozens of heart biopsies. And they won't have to worry about the pain, time and expense of a second transplant.

    "And the nice thing about this technology," Taylor says, "is that it will work with any organ or tissue. So it's not just about hearts."

    Kidneys, livers, lungs, pancreases.

    They'll be growing those, too.


    How do you feel about it?
  2. Genius.
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  3. Sounds good. I'm sure places like McDonald's and such will help fund it. People will start eating all the shit they want if they know they don't have to worry about heart attacks and dying.
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  4. maybe some lucky fatties can get a 2nd heart added before the first one fails.
  5. Now that's forward thinking!
  6. That's phenomenal! It's exciting how far science has come and how many people this new advancement could help in the future.
  7. @Xanth
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  8. And his second heart is being sponsored by Dominoes! ™
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  9. I'm starving now.
  10. now you know what to do when you buy a pig heart next time. Wash it with soap and water, then baste.
  11. I've never even seen a Pig let alone a pig heart lol. I get your point though.
  12. Not sure if Babe counts
  13. WHAT! Wisconsin FTW. Pig roasts are the greatest thing ever.
  14. Sort of Ironic that if you eat tons of bacon it increases your chances for a Heart Explosion
  15. One of the few good types of irony.
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  16. I agree