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Whole organ grown in world first.

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posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 05:45 AM
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A whole functional organ has been grown from scratch inside an animal for the first time, say researchers in Scotland. A group of cells developed into a thymus - a critical part of the immune system - when transplanted into mice. The findings, published in Nature Cell Biology, could pave the way to alternatives to organ transplantation. Experts said the research was promising, but still years away from human therapies.


Nature Cell Biology






These cells were genetically "reprogrammed" and started to transform into a type of cell found in the thymus. These were mixed with other support-role cells and placed inside mice. Once inside, the bunch of cells developed into a functional thymus...

Patients who need a bone marrow transplant and children who are born without a functioning thymus could all benefit.
Ways of boosting the thymus could also help elderly people. The organ shrinks with age and leads to a weaker immune system.

However, there are a number of obstacles to overcome before this research moves from animal studies to hospital therapies.

The current technique uses embryos. This means the developing thymus would not be a tissue match for the patient.
Researchers also need to be sure that the transplant cells do not pose a cancer risk by growing uncontrollably.



Full article at BBC Scotland

This technique is in it's early stages from what I can gather but may offer patients an alternative to transplants, which can be rejected by the body. I am curious if it could also shed light on various cancers and the techniques needed to prevent cancerous cells from growing and spreading?




posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 07:29 AM
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Well this sure is good to ear.



Hopefully 3D printing technology will catch up soon so animals won't have to be used in such a manner. Unless we can eat them afterwards, but of course only if they don't contain human dna because that would just be weird.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 07:31 AM
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Way cool. They are working on a pancreas as well. Just think of it, curing diabetes by replacing the pancreas.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 09:19 AM
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Other than thymus being pretty much non functional in human adults (not as critical as they claim to be eh), interesting stuff nevertheless.

Makes me wonder why they would choose thymus instead of something else first though.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 10:05 AM
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Thanks for your replies everyone.

From the article, Roufas:




Prof Robin Lovell-Badge, from the National Institute for Medical Research, said: "This appears to be an excellent study. "This is an important achievement both for demonstrating how to make an organ, albeit a relatively simple one, and because of the critical role of the thymus in developing a proper functioning immune system.


I'm not sure why they chose that either, whether it's because it's a relatively simple organ to start with (it mentions earlier attempts at growing brains (?? - the ethics of that are too hideous for me to contemplate) or whether they had funding from a particular source. I'll see if it's reported anywhere else, and let you know if I find an answer.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 10:15 AM
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Kind of a stupid move to grow brains, being the organ science has yet to fully figure out, no doubt the most complex organ. This now being an opinion of mine, likely the organ that connects this "machine" known as body to our souls/spirit/etc. Only conjecture from my part though.

Perhaps it was the thymus because of that, since it has very little repercussions being there adult or not, as it said, it is only important while the immune system is developing.
edit on 25-8-2014 by Roufas because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 10:31 AM
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originally posted by: weirdguy
Well this sure is good to ear.



Hopefully 3D printing technology will catch up soon so animals won't have to be used in such a manner. Unless we can eat them afterwards, but of course only if they don't contain human dna because that would just be weird.


That was a one-off experiment to prove that living cells would grow around a collagen implant. That ear was removed and the mouse lived on - mainly to prove that there were no long term side effects.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: beansidhe

Wow. ....But curious - does this qualify as a chimera?

Thanks. F&S&



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: soficrow

Hi, thank-you. I think it does, but I couldn't be certain. The cells (I believe) are not originally from the mouse in which the thymus was grown and so, technically I guess, it would be.
This is definitely not my area of expertise, but I was so intrigued I wanted to share it.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 10:35 AM
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a reply to: beansidhe

I read this the other day. Oddly, enough I just watched Repo Man/Men the other day as well. If you didn't see it, I recommend it. The world evolved to a point like this and these organs were saving people's lives, once you didn't pay, the repo man cometh and taketh the organ away.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: sulaw

I have vague memories of Emilio Estevez? Is that the right film?
But yuck, organ-blackmail and organ ownership could take you to some pretty dark places - in fact some already exist





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