WASHINGTON – From the pages of science fiction to laboratories around the world, scientists are making human body parts.
The Wall Street Journal reports scientists are using patients’ own cells to create organs and other parts the body won’t reject. The breakthrough is partly driven by a world-wide shortage of organ donors.
Central to the lab creations are human stem cells, found in bone marrow. Stem cells can be transformed into other tissues, making them the basic building blocks for any organ, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Scientists have already generated noses, bladders, windpipes and tear ducts. Attention is focused on constructing the first replacement heart. However, growing a heart is harder than growing other body parts and organs because the heart is so big and is compiled of so many different types of cells.
Constructing a heart from stem cells would prove beneficial both medically and financially since so many people are affected by heart disease.
London researcher Dr. Alex Seifalian talks about making organs and the future of transplants in this Wall Street Journal video:
WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.