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How to Build a Beating Heart

2011, Technology  -   33 Comments
Ratings: 8.80/10 from 44 users.

How to Build a Beating Heart?Science may be on the verge of producing a limitless supply of replacement parts by regenerating damaged or aging body parts grown from our own cells.

Imagine the implications if we could custom make body parts genetically indistinguishable from our own.

Could it eliminate the death sentence for profound birth defects, the need for prosthetics and any shortage of transplant organs?

National Geographic delves into the science of tissue engineering and tracks how scientists are beginning to harness the body's natural powers to grow skin, muscle, body parts and vital organs, even hearts.

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33 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Qb1T

    Pedantry alert - there shouldn't be a question mark at the end of the title.

  2. Earthwinger
  3. Earthwinger

    You can easily make it sound more like a question by saying it in a Yoda voice. ;)

  4. Malchik
  5. Malchik

    Donate your organs once you die. The worms don't need them more than your fellow humans.

  6. PaulGloor
  7. PaulGloor

    Indeed, donate your entire body to science and medicine, you wont be needing it any more. The unusable components of the body get cremated and your family gets the ash. I saw it somewhere on another doc here.

  8. Sieben Stern
  9. Sieben Stern

    cotton candy capillaries. that is really brilliant!

  10. alans
  11. alans

    can they make a drink of stem cells so we can get younger?

  12. Guest
  13. Guest

    Instead of a smoothie, a stemie.

  14. Mantid
  15. Mantid

    I am tired of commercials, they have taken over the internet.

  16. taxfatcats
  17. taxfatcats

    Don't count on Doctored Borat's hela 9 petri dish, the kleptocrats like Ceausescu's Turkish misogyny, they know Hitler's quickest mercenary's science is falsified.

  18. Earthwinger
  19. Earthwinger

    Are you a spy, sending coded messages? Hmm, but I guess you'd not be a very good spy if you admitted it.

    Or did you cut words out of a newspaper and paste them together randomly? Bowie wrote some of his songs like that. It clearly worked for him, because he made a shed-load of money and got to bump uglies with a supermodel.

    I'm gonna try holding a mirror to my monitor and see if the reflection makes any sense..........bah, I give up! :D

  20. Abamovich
  21. Abamovich

    New heart? To hell with that, I want my new 20 year old face.

  22. John Christopher McDonald
  23. John Christopher McDonald

    Firefox. Adblock plus.

  24. Dracea Dan
  25. Dracea Dan

    Is this ethical?

  26. neferibi
  27. neferibi

    No, it is not ethical because they kill animals to perform that test.

    Why they don't use the hearts of dead humans (i.e. prisoners, or the sick hearts of transplanted ppl) and some heart muscle cells of living humans (few heart muscle cells of the heart which is to be translated) to do those tests.

    They don't do that because it's more ethical to mass murder innocent animals for science.

    aerzte gegen tierversuche

  28. wcb123
  29. wcb123

    How did you write "skateboard geek" ? I see no option for it on Disqus :p

  30. Earthwinger
  31. Earthwinger

    Make sure you're logged in, then mouse over the Disqus button just above the comments, and you'll see an "edit profile" option. :)

  32. Mantid
  33. Mantid

    I need to do that, thanks.

  34. Mantid
  35. Mantid

    There must be a reason for using animals.I'm sure they don't like killing animals all day.

  36. neferibi
  37. neferibi

    The only reasons I could imagine are:
    1) Animals are cheaper than already available substitutes such as cell cultures, human body dummies etc
    2) It's illegal to test on humans.

    Actually animal tests are not even precise, that's why they still have to do clinical studies.
    And often enough they go wrong. No side effects in the labs and even with way lower dose huge side effects on humans.

    "The numerous pharmaceutical drugs that were considered safe based on animal experiments, but caused serious or even lethal adverse effects in humans, are proof that the results of animal experiments cannot be transferred to humans with the necessary reliability. Lipobay®, Vioxx®, Trasylol®, Acomplia® and TGN1412 are just the tip of the iceberg. "

    quoted from the page "aerzte gegen tierversuche" (Eng: Doctors against animal experiments Germany).
    Select English on the top right corner, then tab "Ressources" and then "Why animal experiments are not necessary".

  38. neferibi
  39. neferibi

    "I'm sure they don't like killing animals all day."

    I am sorry but that's not true. There are enough humans who are cruel to animals, sometimes it's even legal for entertainment - bull fights in Spain for example.

    And what's better for such weirdos to get paid for their passion to abuse and kill animals when they could call it "science" ?

  40. Wake Up America
  41. Wake Up America

    Perhaps in your fervent to save animals, you would prefer to volunteer to have some ears surgically attached to your back?

  42. Wake Up America
  43. Wake Up America

    You wouldn't even question it if you had renal failure and could benefit from this technology...

  44. neferibi
  45. neferibi

    Why not growing the ears on the human who wants to have a new one?
    Or why not growing them on a grid in a nutrient solution in a lab?

    As I said, unfortunately animals are cheaper and disposable.
    If you know what you did to be born as human being I would like to let me know.
    Otherwise I would say think about the possibility of having been born as test animal for science.

  46. vendettadazippo321
  47. vendettadazippo321

    That would not work. For starters, the stem cells would be denatured by the acidity of the stomach. Also, you can't just stick stem cells into your body to grow back organs or reverse the aging process of cells. There are MANY issues with stem cells unfortunately. (1) The stem cells themselves can be rejected and (2) if you just stick the stem cells randomly in your body, you will get tumors all throughout your body which will kill you. So no, they can't just make a drink to make you younger. At least not with stem cells.

  48. batyodi
  49. batyodi

    You do realize there are more pros than cons when it comes to stem cells right? And probably so much more advantageous things that could be found if research was allowed.

  50. UnclearFizzyCyst
  51. UnclearFizzyCyst

    Nearly. They 'rejuvenated' old mice a few years back and since then there's been NOTHING reported ... Sinister, eh!

  52. Adrian M. Kleinbergen
  53. Adrian M. Kleinbergen

    Keep on dreaming. If you're lucky, you'll never have to make a medical decision for yourself or a loved one that may cost the lives of test animals. What will you decide, I wonder? Accept the medical wonder that may save a human life or reject it and lose that life?

  54. Rous Arenillas
  55. Rous Arenillas

    Incredible. It will safe lifes...

  56. Disney Destroyed the Star Wars
  57. Disney Destroyed the Star Wars

    And this is all well and good however BioPrinting will be the next big breakthrough not hand building a heart.
    Go google it, it will blow your mind!!

  58. Disney Destroyed the Star Wars
  59. Disney Destroyed the Star Wars

    that is only 10 years away welcome to the future 3-d Printing was the test Biological Printing is the goal. be 90 look 14 etc etc no need for transplants because they can just print you a brand new organ eye arm from your own dna and bio matter use that to print a replacement part right on your body or in your chest cavity as you lay sedated.

  60. Abamovich
  61. Abamovich

    Nice :) Where did you get this info from? Any documentaries on this you can recommend?

  62. gwhosubex
  63. gwhosubex

    FYI to get to the "WOW" part, skip to 31:20

  64. gwhosubex
  65. gwhosubex

    unnecessary emphasis on the heart organ imo. There are plenty of other fronts to make progress in that will save and better lives today.

    Also, be sure to thank your regional government for banning this, and stealing so much money, and spending it so inefficiently, which delayed progress for centuries.

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