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Scientists grow working human lungs in a lab


Posted on Tuesday, 18 February, 2014 | Comment icon 26 comments

X-ray image of a human chest and lungs. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nevit Dilmen
In a world first, a fully functional pair of human lungs has been grown by researchers in a laboratory.
Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston achieved the feat by stripping one pair of lungs down to its main base components, producing a scaffold-like structure.

Cells gathered from another set of lungs were then applied to this scaffolding which was then placed in to a nutrient solution and left for four weeks. The end result was a fully formed and functional human lung practically indistinguishable from the original.

"It's taken us a year to prove to ourselves that we actually did a good job with it," said Dr. Joan Nichols. "You don't run out immediately and tell the world you have something wonderful until you've proved it to ourselves that we really did something amazing."

Doctors hope that lab-grown organs could one day be used in human transplant patients however such a reality is still likely to be at least another decade away.

Source: Fox News | Comments (26)

Tags: Lungs

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by regeneratia on 19 February, 2014, 19:00
Im heart broken, can they grow me a working heart? Stem cells can repair it.
Comment icon #18 Posted by IBelieveWhatIWant on 19 February, 2014, 20:21
Then I can assume you will no longer seek medical care if sick and refuse any medication that could stave off infection and/or death? If you have kids then the same for them right? Let the little buggers die and decrease the surplus population for the good of all. I haven't sought medical care in years, as I stated in an earlier post, I stopped have shots years ago (when I was around 12 -13) and I haven't gotten majorly sick since, when I had shots I was sick at least 7 times in 6 months. And as andy4 brought about about kids getting replacement organs or the such, I 100% agree that it could a... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by spartan max2 on 19 February, 2014, 21:04
I haven't sought medical care in years, as I stated in an earlier post, I stopped have shots years ago (when I was around 12 -13) and I haven't gotten majorly sick since, when I had shots I was sick at least 7 times in 6 months. And as andy4 brought about about kids getting replacement organs or the such, I 100% agree that it could and should be used for that except I highly doubt it will be only used for that. What you are pretty much doing is 1. Not reading previous posts and 2. Trying to play the "let the kids die" card to make me seem like the bad guy. Mate I know all about manipulating pe... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by mesuma on 20 February, 2014, 0:03
I think your reasoning is that we shouldn't be trying to extend peoples life past when they should die, past "normal". Correct me if im wrong with that. But the problem I have with your reasoning is that todays "normal" is different from yesterdays "normal". So why should we not try to extend peoples lives when we have been trying to extend them for all of history? isn't just a natural human thing to try to keep improving our survival? If you where born a couple centuries from now you view of "normal" would be different then it is now. That and if you work till 67 which some of us might have t... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by IBelieveWhatIWant on 20 February, 2014, 3:32
I think your reasoning is that we shouldn't be trying to extend peoples life past when they should die, past "normal". Correct me if im wrong with that. But the problem I have with your reasoning is that todays "normal" is different from yesterdays "normal". So why should we not try to extend peoples lives when we have been trying to extend them for all of history? isn't just a natural human thing to try to keep improving our survival? If you where born a couple centuries from now you view of "normal" would be different then it is now. Over the years we have invented medicine to improve our st... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Merc14 on 20 February, 2014, 5:20
I haven't sought medical care in years, as I stated in an earlier post, I stopped have shots years ago (when I was around 12 -13) and I haven't gotten majorly sick since, when I had shots I was sick at least 7 times in 6 months. And as andy4 brought about about kids getting replacement organs or the such, I 100% agree that it could and should be used for that except I highly doubt it will be only used for that. What you are pretty much doing is 1. Not reading previous posts and 2. Trying to play the "let the kids die" card to make me seem like the bad guy. Mate I know all about manipulating pe... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by IBelieveWhatIWant on 20 February, 2014, 5:27
You are a humanity hater that hopes people die so the earth is healed. You hope other people's kids die because it makes you feel better about the earth or some such BS. Your type has been preaching devastation for the last 40 years and have been so completely wrong it would be embarrassing if you had any sense but you don't, so you ramble on about the need of a plague to cleanse the earth of the human pestilence. What a cowardly and abhorrent philosophy you adhere to. I despise people like you, the quitters and cowards that curl up an die rather than face the challenge of life. I have zero do... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by psyche101 on 28 February, 2014, 1:18
With scientists able to grow organs to replace ones that fail with age is not natural at all. The only difference between yesterdays normal and todays is that todays normal we are able to replace organs giving a strong possibly of immortality. Why isn't "new" Natural? Just because it is not "the way we always did things" does not make it wrong. These lab grown organs are just scratching the surface. The most amazing organ replacement development I am aware of at the moment is organ 3D Printing. That actually takes stem cells from the person requiring the organ, and "prints" them a custom built... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by Astra00 on 28 February, 2014, 5:20
I feel that anything that can improve an individuals life span is a marvelous thing. I wouldn't have my mum around if there were not organ transplants.
Comment icon #26 Posted by eaglesareskykittens on 10 March, 2014, 1:34
Great now if I could just get a new pair of lungs, then I could go into a perfume store without semi-dying. Curse you asthma.


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