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Of the 4,000 Americans waiting for heart transplants, only 2,500 will receive new hearts in the next year. Even for those lucky enough to get a transplant, the biggest risk is the their bodies will reject the new heart and launch a massive immune reaction against the foreign cells. To combat the problems of organ shortage and decrease the chance that a patient’s body will reject it, researchers have been working to create synthetic organs from patients’ own cells. Now a team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has gotten one step closer, using adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue, according to a study published recently in the journal Circulation Research.
Ideally, scientists would be able to grow working hearts from patients’ own tissues, but they’re not quite there yet. That’s because organs have a particular architecture. It's easier to grow them in the lab if they have a scaffolding on which the cells can build, like building a house with the frame already constructed.
originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: Cobaltic1978
Mate, growing yourself a new brain would be utterly useless - the new brain would have zero memories, zero self identity, zero knowledge. It'd be as useful as a blank drive.
I just made a joke about it in my second post.
After those two weeks, the hearts contained well-structured tissue that looked similar to immature hearts; when the researchers gave the hearts a shock of electricity, they started beating.
While this isn’t the first time heart tissue has been grown in the lab, it’s the closest researchers have come to their end goal: Growing an entire working human heart. But the researchers admit that they’re not quite ready to do that.