Saturday, April 5, 2008

Regenerative Medicine

Now here are some brilliant men and women who know all about critical thinking. They have actually found a way to regrow lost body parts, and even grow entire new organs! This seems like something straight out of a sci-fi story but it's actually happening. Lee Spievack lost the tip of his finger in an accident and was able to regrow a new fingertip within 4 weeks. It was quite hard to believe at first but apparently all he did was cover it in this powder scientists have developed.
That powder is a substance made from pig bladders called extracellular matrix. It is a mix of protein and connective tissue surgeons often use to repair tendons and it holds some of the secrets behind the emerging new science of regenerative medicine.

"It tells the body, start that process of tissue regrowth," said Badylak.

Badlayk is one of the many scientists who now believe every tissue in the body has cells which are capable of regeneration. All scientists have to do is find enough of those cells and "direct" them to grow.
As if that wasn't enough to blow your mind, they are also regrowing entirely new organs using an ink jet printer! It sounds ridiculous but you can see for yourself in the video "Manufacturing Body Parts".

Gone are the days when people's fears of the future involved mass cloning and the harvesting of organs from clones. With this technology all that is necessary is the patient's own cells.


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