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Printing Replacement Body Parts

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the portrait-mode dept.

Biotech 101

Deep Penguin sends in a piece that appeared in The Economist a couple of weeks back about a developing technology to "print" body parts for transplant. "A US and an Australian company have developed the $200,000 machine, which works by depositing stem cells and a 'sugar-based hydrogel' scaffolding material. (The stem cells are harvested from a transplant patient's own fat and bone marrow, to avoid rejection down the line.) The companies are Organovo, from San Diego, specializing in regenerative medicine, and Invetech, an engineering and automation firm in Melbourne, Australia. The initial targets are skin, muscle, and 'short stretches of blood vessels,' which they hope to have available for human implantation within five years. Down the line, they expect the technology could even print directly into the body, bypassing the in-vitro portion of the current process."

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Invetech? (2)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342208)

They took my gene stapler.

Re:Invetech? (3, Funny)

kirill.s (1604911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342446)

That's because you haven't submitted that TPS rep... bone marrow sample.

Count-down (4, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342248)

Printing penis jokes in 3, 2, 1...

Re:Count-down (3, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342376)

How well does it do nerves? Print me a new foreskin, please!

Re:Count-down (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342606)

How well does it do nerves? Print me a new foreskin, please!

I'm more curious about whether or not they print in letter, legal... or tabloid sizes.

Re:Count-down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31344712)

Letter/Legal-size ... for use with only 5% of the women
A4-sized ... supports neat folding tricks

Hmm .. need more paper-formats!

Re:Count-down (1)

ElvisGump (1018396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345642)

Just remember to unclick "Shrink to fit page".

Re:Count-down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31342524)

Printing penis jokes in 3, 2, 1...

Is there a size limit or can we get something larger than the standard 12" model printed?

Re:Count-down (2, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342664)

As much as your comment may have been intended as a joke it is interesting to imagine a future in which you basically load up a large machine with the necessary basic materials, input a scan of yourself with whatever changes you want made and let the machine rebuild your body. And why stop at changing genitalia? or even general enhancement of your existing body, imagine what such technology could do for transsexuals, step into the machine a man and come out a woman. Hell, maybe you want to be a horse with a human brain, maybe if technology progresses far enough this will one day be possible...

Yes, I'm speculating wildly but I'd rather aim for the stars and reach the top of a mountain than aim for making my way to the gas station two blocks away and ending up at my neighbor's house. <Insert rant about space exploration here>

/Mikael

Re:Count-down (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342716)

I am more interested in what this type of thing will do for medicine. If a person has lung cancer can we make them a working set of lungs? Can we rebuild the nerves in a spinal column? If a persons bones become weak with ageing can we replace the bones?

I a 44 now. I expect to lose the use of my body inside the next 40 years. It would be nice if there were alternatives I could go for.

Re:Count-down (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342766)

Well, that would be the mountain top instead of the stars. If you can build someone an entirely new body that would obviously be a bigger achievement than "just" replacing specific organs, why bother replacing your lungs or your heart when you can just "reboot" yourself by getting a shiny new body while you're at it? I know that if the option existed I would gladly start my (still far off) retirement by changing back into a 18-20 year-old's body.

Of course, you'd probably not be able to stay retired indefinitely then, but working to 65, living a care-free life as a retired 20-something until you're around 30 and then going back to work would be pretty nice.

/Mikael

Re:Count-down (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342902)

But what do you do with the brain? If you can't copy it you are going to be in trouble because the brain is as vulnerable as everything else.

Re:Count-down (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342924)

Well, such tech would probably require a way to "refresh" the brain as well, that and the central nervous system is probably the biggest hurdle.

But even without being able to "refresh" the brain to reduce the level of degradation technology that lets you fix the rest of the body could be very useful and convenient. Sort of like how even if you don't know anything about restoring car engines you can still take an antique car and fix the rest of it up and as long as the engine (brain) is in good condition to begin with you'll probably get a lot more out of the car than you would if you just left it running the way it was before restoring it.

/Mikael

Re:Count-down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31343026)

This is to print new parts, not xerox the whole thing.

Re:Count-down (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345126)

If you can print new ones, you should be able to scan things appropriately and print them. Many copiers now do things that way- scan with an imaging device and then print what was scanned.

Re:Count-down (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342928)

At which point, prepare for this graph [stanford.edu] to become an understatement.

Re:Count-down (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31343202)

Yes there is that. I wouldn't mind continuing my life as software on a small spacecraft roaming the solar system, running slow with plenty of time to take advantage of a solar sail.

Re:Count-down (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344214)

Don't worry.
It'll only be a minority of rich people who can afford that stuff.
99% of humanity will still die the same as ever.

Re:Count-down (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344524)

I think a lot of them would be even more bitter.

Re:Count-down (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349046)

I'm not convinced that immortality is a desireable thing to begin with. Can you imagine an eternity of bitching about politics and the technological ignorance of others?

Re:Count-down (1)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346732)

Doubtful. Who is going to pay for all of these replacement body parts? We can barely pay for the Viagra and Lipitor we get now.

Re:Count-down (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342838)

Imagine getting an liver and pancreas upgrade and an additional kidney just because you want to "abuse" your body more or live longer.

Re:Count-down (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349074)

Speaking as a Diabetic, the idea of having a new pancreas that my body won't immediately reject is rather appealing.

Re:Count-down (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348830)

From the bit above, it looks like the first uses for this are going to be skin and muscle, so for reconstructive surgery it'll be a boon.

Then I reckon it'll do tendons, so maybe shoulders and knee repairs

Re:Count-down (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344674)

Never mind transexual what about transpecies? I want a tail!

Re:Count-down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31344796)

Never mind your tail, I want my cat-girl!

Re:Count-down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345986)

Nevermind your cat-girl, I want to BE a cat-girl!

Re:Count-down (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349024)

never mind your cat-girl, I want to BE a cat-girl!

Re:Count-down (-1, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345468)

And why stop at changing genitalia? or even general enhancement of your existing body, imagine what such technology could do for transsexuals, step into the machine a man and come out a woman.

There is no such thing as a sex change. You can reshape flesh to construct a penis for a woman, remove her breasts and inject hormones to give her facial hair, but she will still have two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome. Similarly, a man who has a "sex change operation" still has a Y chromosome. It's going to be a while before we're technologically advanced enough for a true sex change.

Yes, there are XXY and XXX and YYY (etc) individuals, individuals born with both penis and vagina, etc but these are incredibly rare and are the exception. If you are a normal non-mutant human you can change your appearance to look like the opposite sex, but you will not become the opposite sex. This surgery can be beneficial to some, but it isn't a true sex change.

Re:Count-down (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345572)

Well, I was (as I stated) speculating about future enhancements of medical technology and obviously there are issues that would need to be addressed such as "re-encoding" DNA in case of such a real sex change.

So no, I wasn't talking about current "hack and slash" sex change operations.

/Mikael

Re:Count-down (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349824)

There is no such thing as a sex change. You can reshape flesh to construct a penis for a woman, remove her breasts and inject hormones to give her facial hair, but she will still have two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome. Similarly, a man who has a "sex change operation" still has a Y chromosome. It's going to be a while before we're technologically advanced enough for a true sex change.

Why? If you're printing sex organs from scratch, it's not like you're reshaping tissue from the original body. Admittedly, I haven't heard of a paper where someone changed the gender of a donated set of genes during cloning, but I doubt it's impossible.

For that matter, there's no reason the new body parts have to be genetically identical to the rest of the body. Chimera exist in nature with little problem. In fact, you don't even have to use any of the patient's DNA if you've got a donor type match with the new tissue, but I would think that most people getting fresh grown sex organs would want their own genes if possible. Not that that would stop many if passing on someone else's genes was the only alternative.

Re:Count-down (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31350772)

Your sex isn't determined by your genetalia, but by the DNA in every cell in your body. Still, I amagine that some day there will be such a thing as a true sex change operation, but I think it will be far in the future.

What if you don't have the same DNA in every cell? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351762)

Your sex isn't determined by your genetalia, but by the DNA in every cell in your body. Still, I amagine that some day there will be such a thing as a true sex change operation, but I think it will be far in the future.

Meh, that's one definition, and it's one that almost all transgender persons would completely deny. Furthermore, it's not a socially useful definition since humans aren't nearly as capable of detecting the chromosomes of others as we are the shape of their genitalia. Sex and gender aren't so black and white. What do you think most people would think someone with Swyer syndrome [wikipedia.org] should be called?

Plus, under your definition, what is your sex if some of your body is XY and some of it is XX after a transplant? Take an XY male, replace his genitalia with a vagina, uterus, and ovaries and give him other tissue grafts (like breast tissue) from a XX gene donor, and what do you have? Is that person male? Female? Neither? Both? How much of a person would you have to replace to get a sex-change in your definition, and how little of the original in needed remain to prevent the switch?

Re:What if you don't have the same DNA in every ce (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357940)

Meh, that's one definition, and it's one that almost all transgender persons would completely deny.

That's true, and for a transgender induvidual a cosmetic change would be beneficial. But Medically and scientifically, if you have an X and Y chromosome you're male, and if you have two Xs you're female.

Furthermore, it's not a socially useful definition since humans aren't nearly as capable of detecting the chromosomes of others as we are the shape of their genitalia. Sex and gender aren't so black and white.

Also true; secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts and facial hair, are what we see (I think shaving is kind of gay). Geriatrics seem (to me at least) to look androgous.

Take an XY male, replace his genitalia with a vagina, uterus, and ovaries and give him other tissue grafts (like breast tissue) from a XX gene donor, and what do you have? Is that person male? Female?

That's a very good point. If Sally dies and I get her heart, my new heart's cells will be female. Will I be me, or will I be Sally? You're right; when it's all said and done, it's the brain that matters.

Re:Count-down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31346954)

I want to be a dragon with a human brain. Complete with flaming breath and a hoard of treasure. Where do I sign up?

Re:Count-down (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347576)

And why stop at changing genitalia?

Because that would get rid of all the annoying Viagra spam and commercials, which is, essentially, the only thing standing between humanity and utopia.

Sysadmin must update (2, Funny)

Dun Kick The Noob (904001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342270)

"Surprise Her !!!, Print an enlarged Pen**, 80% off" must be blocked

Can I get my hair back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31342284)

With a new scalp?

Re:Can I get my hair back? (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342334)

I can't believe someone thought of that before I did...
Not that I need any hair. I'm set. No, really, I was just inquiring for a friend...

Prior art (4, Informative)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342324)

This mouse [bbc.co.uk] called dibs 8 years ago.

Seriously though, this certainly isn't the first time this has been done [pbs.org] . Previous methods also used similar 3D printing techniques, except that the printed organ was a "dud" that was impregnated (injected and suspended in fluids, as I remember) with cells, instead of the organ being printed in one pass.

Not that this isn't very interesting, it's just not as new as they make it seem.

Re:Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31342536)

scientist rule n1: always work it like it's new and original. even if it confirms another study or repurposes the same data over and over again, it's a novelty view over something. ...that brings founding

Re:Prior art (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31343064)

Yup, I will join the "old news" shouting wagon. I saw this on the Discovery Channel series 2057 [wikipedia.org] (IIRC the Episode was "The Body").

Nevertheless, it will be really news when the method gets approved by the FDA and starts being used in a common basis :)

Re:Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345702)

They talked about it in PC world in 2004 here [pcworld.com]

Re:Prior art (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351644)

This mouse [bbc.co.uk] called dibs 8 years ago.

Actually, the mouse heard someone call dibs 8 years ago.

Oh thank god it's about time. (0, Redundant)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342356)

Doctor I don't know what hapenned, it was a complete accident but I've somehow jabbed a screwdriver through my penis!
The trauma has caused some kind of cell shrinkage, I have no idea why it looks like it's only 3" but I can assure you it was 9" this morning.

Fire up the printer baby!

Science Fiction (4, Funny)

kamochan (883582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342378)

think 5th Element... now everyone can get their own Lee-Loo!

Re:Science Fiction (3, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342494)

You're gonna need Milla Jovovich's hand first. Got that "handy"?

Re:Science Fiction (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31343308)

No, you just need someone put all the data on torrent.

Re:Science Fiction (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346728)

You're gonna need Milla Jovovich's hand first. Got that "handy"?

The good news is, that's a solvable problem. ;)

Come on, Fifth Element! (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342386)

  How long before I can print my very own live copy of Milla Jovovich? Can't let Bruce Willis have all the fun.

Obligatory. (4, Funny)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342432)

PC LOAD LETTER? What the fuck does that mean?

Re:Obligatory. (0, Offtopic)

paradxum (67051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345212)

PC LOAD HUMAN? What the fuck does that mean?

hahaha. I'm here all week.

Re:Obligatory. (2, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346916)

hahaha. I'm here all week.

Seems like much longer than that already.

Re:Obligatory. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347648)

PC LOAD LETTER? What the fuck does that mean?

I think you mean PC LOAD STEM.

One pancreas, please (3, Insightful)

gbridge (746125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342450)

Being type 1 (insulin dependant) diabetic, the idea of having a new pancreas 'printed' is pretty appealing. I asked a doctor why they can't be transplanted like other organs and he said that it's because they're too fragile and would likely be damaged during the transplant process. It'd be great if printing a new one would work.

One can dream...

Re:One pancreas, please (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342468)

that must suck man *eats another jelly dohnut*

Re:One pancreas, please (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31343132)

It's a myth that type 1 diabetics should avoid sugar more than non-diabetics. They can eat whatever they want as long as they complement the food with an appropriate amount of insulin.

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-myths/

Re:One pancreas, please (2, Interesting)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31343448)

Of course you are correct but as you might be interested to learn, the more sugar our food contains, the harder the diabetes becomes to regulate. Blood sugar levels are supposed to stay between 4-8 mmol/L and while we have quite the margin upwards before something acute happens, the chances of over-compensating when eating a meal rich in high-GI carbohydrates and then crashing and quite easily dying are huge.

Yes, we can eat as much sugar as we want, at least in theory. We shouldn't though. Cutting sugary and starchy foods gives even you non-diabetics huge health benefits, so why shouldn't we do it when it makes our "wetware malfunction" so much more managable?

Re:One pancreas, please (2, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345204)

It's true that it's a myth, after a fashion. You CAN get away (magic words there) with a lot more sugar than most people think when you say "diabetic".

But it makes management much, much easier for type I and type II if you avoid consumption of excess sugar in your diet. You'll need less insulin if you're a type I and you might even not need much in the way of meds if you're a type II. It should also be worth noting that just because you're compensating for things with the meds, it doesn't regulate your sugars as well as a properly functioning body would do- you have spikes and valleys in your blood sugar- eating a bunch of sugars will cause a spike. The more of those you do to yourself, the more likely you are to develop the co-morbidities that come with Diabetes and unchecked sugars. In the end, I'll regulate my sugar intake and do without things, thank you very much...

Re:One pancreas, please (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347882)

I was talking with a neurologist about this (managing Type II Diabetes). He said that even if you control your weight and sugar so that you don't need insulin to manage the obvious symptoms the disease still progresses and still damages your health in other ways such as particular types of cell damage - this was a huge and very disappointing surprise to hear.

Re:One pancreas, please (1)

kirill.s (1604911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342512)

If their most optimistic guesstimate is 5 years, then by the time that gets FDA (or equivalent) approval, that will be even further away.
Looks like we are dealing with one of those 20-years-from-now technologies that stay 20 years away no matter what.

Re:One pancreas, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31342588)

According to this article from the NIH's medical encyclopedia [nih.gov] , pancreas transplants work just fine.

(Also, while I've never observed a captcha worth mentioning before, this time I got "sweeten".)

Re:One pancreas, please (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342610)

Yeah a woman I work with told me her 14 year old son has type 1 diabetes. Not nice in a kid so young, or anyone for that matter. But this seems to be more about rebuilding the physical structures while the pancreas is more of a biochemical converter which could have any shape. I suppose if you could build an insulin pump which can make insulin it could be implanted permanently.

Re:One pancreas, please (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344142)

As I understand it, the problem isn't the pump, it's the glucose sensor. If there was a reliable sensor, the technology has been around for decades to implant a mechanism, rechargeable with a a magnetic charger and programmer, and refillable with a syringe. But the reliable sensors all take chemicals, and all destroy blood to make their test.

Re:One pancreas, please (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349620)

Type I is normally diagnosed in children (it is seldom diagnosed after the age of 16 or so, though this does happen), and is the most severe type, characterized by the ceasation of insulin production by pancreas. This differs from Type II, in which, the pancreas may be fine, but the body has developed a resistance to use of the insulin, or in some cases, the pancreas may not be able to produce enough insulin to compensate for the body's size (a larger body has a larger quantity of blood, which in turn, requires a larger amount of insulin to process the glucose within)-- they body can out-grow the pancreas.

Personally, it would save me a lot of headaches if Type I and Type II Diabetes had different names. Since Type II is so incredibly common in the US, when I tell people that I have Diabetes, they immediately misunderstand what I mean, which has lead to a number of Pharmacy errors, in the past.

Re:One pancreas, please (4, Informative)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342804)

It wouldn't work. As near as I can tell from the literature pointed out by my Type 1 co-worker, the immune problemm that destroyed your insulin producing cells is probably still active, and would also destroy the self-grown transplant tissue. My co-worker also pointed out some fascinating immuno-suppressive therapies that seem to control this problem, and allow diabetic animals to regenerate their own insulin producing cells, which seems like having this printer without bothering to buy the printer.

It's described at http://www.faustmanlab.org/ [faustmanlab.org] , and it's quite fascinating work.

Re:One pancreas, please (4, Interesting)

plastbox (1577037) | more than 4 years ago | (#31343836)

Greetings, fellow Type 1 diabetic!

The reason pancreatic transplants aren't performed is that the chance of rejection is 100%. Your auto-immune system is already attacking anything that secretes insulin.. An insulin-producing organ from someone else would most assuredly not stand a snowballs chance in hell.

There have been trials though. A few years back two diabetics here in Norway were "cured" by pancreatic transplants. They still had to live in virtual bubbles though because of the very strong immunosuppressive meds they were on. Despite the drugs, they only remained non-dependent on injections for about 12-18 months or so before the organ was put out of commission, so it's sadly not viable cure at all.

Another procedure that could (in theory) work is to have your immune system and bone marrow destroyed chemically, then receive both a bone marrow and pancreas transplant from the same donor. The chances of finding both from a compatible donor aren't exactly convincing though, and there is of course the chance of the "new" immune system that follows your transplanted marrow will accept the pancreas but reject the rest of the body, promptly causing your death.

There are some viable solutions though, like creating some sort of protein or something that to the immune system looks like insulin. Then administer huge amounts of this fake allergen to the patient to desensitize the immune system (similar to what is done with things like pollen allergies). The problem here is that no such substance exists as of yet, and you can't exactly give someone a superdose of insulin. Death isn't really the best solution, after all.. x)

Another being looked into encapsulating cells (in this case, insulin producing beta-cells) in some sort of alginate made from seaweed. This allows insulin and nutrients to pass to and from the cell, while making it "invisible" to the immune system.

Another seemingly promising solution is the theory that the immune system keeps attacking our beta-cells because of an on-going pain response triggered by the immune systems attack itself. Break the circle, and your body recovers most of it's insulin producing capability for at least a couple of years before something (like inflammation, etc.) causes you to need treatment again. I don't know how relevant this research is with regards to humans, but in animals injections of powerful anti-inflammatory drugs directly into the pancreas has reduced or abolished the animals insulin dependence for a year or two.

Btw, I am as I said a Type 1 Diabetic. These days, I am playing around with a ketogenic diet, and I am currently taking 20 units of 12-hour insulin (Insulatard) each morning. That's it. Do the opposite of what the "FAT IS THE ENEMY"-evangelists have been preaching the past 40-50 years and all of a sudden every health marker is even better than before, and I need less medication than most Type 2 diabetics.

Re:One pancreas, please (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31353854)

Being in the market (not literally) for a new one, I would be pleased to have a kidney printed.

I asked a doctor why they can't be transplanted like other organs and he said that it's because they're too fragile and would likely be damaged during the transplant process.

Where is this claim being made? They do do pancreas transplants right here at Massachusetts General Hospital [harvard.edu]

But please without aliasing! (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342462)

Apart from it looking horrible, aliasing stairways are the antithesis to stability of an object. E.g. a bone with aliasing would be much less stable. And don’t even think about lying on it and not causing painful pressure points.

No thanks. I like my body parts casted or grown.

Re:But please without aliasing! (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342516)

So you're saying they need to implement an anti-aliasing algorithm?...

Re:But please without aliasing! (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342604)

Yeah, but if the resolution is high enough, you'll never notice.
By the way, what is this models resolution?

One more small thing, I don't think this model does bones... but the marrow should be doable.

Re:But please without aliasing! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31343636)

Actually, if the “voxels” flow into each other enough, aliasing will never occur. Which is why some low-resolution professional prints look better than high-resolution printer ones. Or why on a CRT pixels are less distinguishable then on a LCD. (Which is a good thing.)

Re:But please without aliasing! (2, Funny)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31343208)

Apart from it looking horrible, aliasing stairways are the antithesis to stability of an object. E.g. a bone with aliasing would be much less stable. And don’t even think about lying on it and not causing painful pressure points.

No thanks. I like my body parts casted or grown.

You are so 20th century.

Re:But please without aliasing! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31343652)

I didn‘t say they would be casted or grown anywhere near a human body. ;)

You are so 21st century with your computers.
Biotech bodymods is all the craze in the 22nd century.

You should come over and check it out!
Oh, I forgot: You got no time machines. Booo-hooo... ;))

Re:But please without aliasing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31347470)

I'd like to introduce you to the invention of sandpaper.

This is the machine from 5th Element! (0, Redundant)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342622)

One Milla Jovovich please.

Re:This is the machine from 5th Element! (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345516)

Just one?...

Typical printer tactics (5, Funny)

DeanLearner (1639959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31342702)

No doubt if the machine is $200,000 the print cartridges will be $600,000 and still only use three quarters of its ink!

Re:Typical printer tactics (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346962)

And it will insist on printing a couple of full-color kidneys every time it is hard booted, just so you can waste more ink ^W^W^W align the heads again.

Re:Typical printer tactics (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347706)

No doubt if the machine is $200,000 the print cartridges will be $600,000 and still only use three quarters of its ink!

Except this thing uses stem cells rather than ink, so it'll be a lot cheaper per cartridge [boingboing.net] .

TED talk on the matter (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31342814)

Anthony Atala presented this (and much more!) on TEDMED [ted.com] recently.

Awesome.

We already know how this will end. (0, Offtopic)

Krau Ming (1620473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31343472)

Skip this beginner's crap, start printing replacement humans, hire Michael Bay to blow some shit up already and be done with it!!!

Hamburgers! (4, Interesting)

Jahava (946858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344048)

What would, in my opinion, be truly interesting is if this printer device can be used with beef cells to produce artificial steaks (etc.). This could potentially remove the agricultural overhead of growing the meat, while reducing prices, increasing availability, dissolving concerns of inhumanity, and (possibly) skittering past some of the vegetarian reservations. Furthermore, there's no integration issues trying to put the product back into a live and functioning body!

No animal was hurt in making this meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345182)

Mod parent up! In fact, using bioprinting to make food should be a good proving ground for technology, as well as way to make it cheap and ubiquitous.

Re:Hamburgers! (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345354)

They're already culturing meat tissues in the lab, so why not? The only thing would be that you'd need a starter culture of cells to do that- where would THAT come from?

Re:Hamburgers! (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345610)

Now I want a bacon printer!

It'll have to make two passes:
1) Print
2) Fry

This would work great with eggs too.

Mmmm..... Doughnut printer....

Re:Hamburgers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345576)

Printing meat has already been investigated (I think in 2006):
http://www.musc.edu/catalyst/archive/2006/co1-20invitro.html

Re:Hamburgers! (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348432)

For the record, PETA has a $1M reward for exactly this [peta.org] , for exactly the reasons you're suggesting. It's interesting because a lot of PETA members are really pissed about the idea since they want people to just stop eating meat, even if it's not actually from an animal.

Re:Hamburgers! (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31360976)

Even better, you can make extremely high-quality meat (quality from the point-of-view of taste), which normally requires torturing the animal and killing it young. Veal, Kobi beef, etc. comes from animals that don't exactly have wonderful lives, being penned up in cages so their flesh stays supple. Being able to artificially manufacture such meat would eliminate these problems, plus also make meat cheaper. Instead of paying high prices for the best cuts of meat, or getting nasty "stew beef" if you can't afford filet mignon, ALL beef could be filet mignon since it wouldn't cost any more to print the good stuff than the bad stuff.

Good luck finding replacement cartridges (0, Offtopic)

capn_buzzcut (676680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344208)

Bet they're pricey too

Zombie alert (0, Flamebait)

hitnrunrambler (1401521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31344330)

Now you can have your brains and eat them too....

Ink (0, Offtopic)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31345432)

"which works by depositing stem cells and a 'sugar-based hydrogel' scaffolding material."

I bet it's still cheaper to print with than HP No. 96 Black.

Spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31345578)

I can imagine to have one of these plugged via USB and some spammers keep sending me organisms.

Send the hardware into space (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346016)

Land on a distant planets and start printing people, seeds, etc..

did anyone... (1)

tsalaroth (798327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346376)

mention 5th element or printer cartridge costs yet?

Just wondering.

I bet consumables are expensive (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31346562)

And to think, I thought my printer's consumables were high!

Re:I bet consumables are expensive (2, Funny)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31347050)

it's going to cost an arm and a leg to print an arm or a leg

SF story of mine (1)

John Bayko (632961) | more than 4 years ago | (#31349882)

I wrote a story once where this was done (here [sasktelwebsite.net] . I kind of got tired of so many SF stories and movies solving traumatic injury with some sort of magical "healing tank" (maybe with effortless "nanobots") that I wondered to myself what sort of effort would really be needed to put someone together from just a bunch of pieces.

The closest similar stories I found were the beginning of "Neon", by Harlan Ellison in 1973, and an early chapter of "Count Zero" by William Gibson.

Direct printing (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31351632)

Down the line, they expect the technology could even print directly into the body, bypassing the in-vitro portion of the current process.

Ow! Paper jam!

Adult stem cells 'win' again (1)

kinglitho (879478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358082)

After all the political posturing and debate over government funding for the use of embryonic stem cells for research, the private sector comes along and shows us where the action really is.

Kinda makes you wonder if some academics deliberately pick areas of study with the longest term payoff possible in order to extend the length of their grant funding. After all, once the discovery is made, the researcher has to find a new area of study.
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