Japanese Scientist Claims Breakthrough With Organ Grown in Sheep

The velocity of scientific breakthroughs is accelerating in literally all fields of study. The rapid growth in medical research should not be ignored. The day is fast approaching when the human life span will be substantially lengthened by breakthroughs in pharmacology. Instead of treating disease we will soon see major advancements in preventing disease. Another fascinating area of development will come from replacing worn out, diseased or otherwise damaged organs with organs that are literally grown in laboratories. This article appearing in the Times of London reads like a Philip K Dick novel. Perhaps real life is finally catching up with the science fiction on the 1950’s?

Huddled at the back of her shed, bleating under a magnificent winter coat and tearing cheerfully at a bale of hay, she is possibly the answer to Japan’s chronic national shortage of organ donors: a sheep with a revolutionary secret.

Guided by one of the animal’s lab-coated creators, the visitor’s hand is led to the creature’s underbelly and towards a spot in the middle under eight inches of greasy wool. Lurking there is a spare pancreas.

If the science that put it there can be pushed further forward, Japan may be spared an ethical and practical crisis that has split medical and political opinion.

As the sheep-based chimera organ technology stands at the moment, says the man who is pioneering it, the only viable destination for the pancreas underneath his sheep would be a diabetic chimpanzee.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk

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