Salinas, CA Regenerative Medicine : Can We Grow Our Own Organs In The Future?by Richard Kuehn on 09/17/12
I've written repeatedly on my blog about the potential of personalized medicine. Basically, physicians will be able to test your DNA and find out what medicine might work best for you. It will be expensive, and insurance companies won't like this because it doesn't fit their one size fits all model, but it could save lives, and a lot of pain and suffering. Some in the medical community are taking the concept even one step further. I read an article today in the New York Times today which talked about researchers growing organs with a person's body cells. Although this sounds like something out of The Jetsons, it's happening today. The NYT article profiled Andemariam Beyne who had a giant tumor, the size of a golf ball, growing in his windpipe. "I was almost dead. There was suffering. A lot of suffering," he told the reporter. His Doctor decided to think outside of the box, and designed a new windpipe made out of plastic and Mr. Beyne's own cells. Dubbed "regenerative medicine," this technology allows you to grow a "bioartificial organ" to be implanted in your own body. In the future, researchers believe, you could be able to grow your own heart, kidney and liver in the lab. The concept sounds kind of gross initially, but people are living longer and longer and organs don't last forever. So if this field shows promise, I say go at it.