April 30, 2013

Bioengineered Organs

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frankensteinYesterdays news in the New York Times, could be tomorrows reality for people waiting on an organ transplant. The ever-growing list of people relying on the miracle of an organ donor may someday no longer need anything but cells from their own body. This is the current work being done at a lab in Boston. 

The visionary, researcher, and miracle worker of this biological marvel is Dr. Harald Ott. He is the lead investigator of the Ott Lab, at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Nature Medicine video sums it up. If you choose to watch the video, the next 3 minutes of your life will alter your perception of what can be done with innovation, tenacity, and genius.

Taking the framework from organs that would not normally be suitable for transplantation, the scaffolding of the organ is repopulated with cells from the recipient. These cells are set into place with an oxygenated, nutritional, pressurized environment, staging a human body.

Although the fruits of the Ott Lab sound like something out of the Frankenstein Lab, picture this as the Disney version. If this is where bioengineered organs come to life, it’s arguably the place where dreams come true.

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