Growing up you believe the world is meant to be the way it is. The older I get the more I realise that this is not the case. The world is full of injustices and atrocities that governments and the voice of faith expect us to accept, though with each passing year they grow fewer and fewer, at least one would hope. I have created this blog as a space for me to rant about all things science, politics, philosophy and religion, before it’s too late and the vessel of new atheism propelled by a growing surge in secularism solves all of the world’s problems for good.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Next stop, farming our own organs!

A group of researchers from Columbia University have repaired a damage heart by coaxing it to re-grow its own tissue. This study is also more proof of how useful and important stem cells are in medical research, and their potential to save lives.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) said in a release about the study:

[The researchers] filled the scaffold with human mesenchymal progenitors (stem cells that can differentiate into many cell types) and then applied the patches to damaged heart tissue. The patches promoted the growth of new blood vessels and released proteins that stimulated the native tissue to repair itself. Moreover, the team also used this controllable platform to identify the signaling mechanisms involved in the repair process, and expand our knowledge about the role of cells and scaffold design on heart repair.
"It really is encouraging to make progress with 'instructing' cells to form human tissues by providing them with the right environments," noted Dr. Vunjak-Novakovic. "The cells are the real 'tissue engineers'-we only design the environments so they can do their work. Because these environments need to mimic the native developmental milieu, the progress in the field is really driven by the interdisciplinary work of bioengineers, stem cell biologists, and clinicians. By enabling regeneration and replacement of our damaged tissues, we can help people live longer and better."
The published study via PNAS

This study is just another big step towards being able to re-grow our own organs, and who knows, one day we may even be able to grow and store our own organ replacements in advance to medical issues. Bring on the future.

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