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Rudimentary Liver Grown In a Dish

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the tastes-like-chicken dept.

Biotech 129

ananyo writes "Japanese scientists have coaxed stem cells into forming a 5-millimeter-long, three-dimensional tissue that the researchers labelled a liver bud — an early stage of liver development. The bud lacks bile ducts but has blood vessels, and when transplanted into a mouse, was able to metabolize some drugs that human livers metabolize but mouse livers normally cannot. The work is 'the first report demonstrating the creation of a human functional organ with vascular networks from pluripotent stem cells,' the team claims."

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129 comments

Burn in Hell! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387371)

Burn in hell you cursed worshipers of Satan! This is solely the work of the Devil himself. This is evil at its darkest (until I need a liver transplant, at which time I will be more than happy to accept one).

Re:Burn in Hell! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387633)

You obviously didn't RTFA. This isn't the controversial embryo-destroying pluripotent stem cells, these are cells re-engineered into pluripotent stem cells.

Re:Burn in Hell! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387775)

You obviously missed the point. Those turbo-religious types that have issues with this research aren't just against it because of embryonic destruction. I tend to hear from them about things that aren't natural and that their Lord Almighty Savior of Mighty Omniscient Omnipotence (that they sometimes refer to as God) will choose when someone should die and this research interferes with His will. Also, many people are just misinformed and don't care about the details in TFAs when they argue their point. This falls hand-in-hand with the people who still swear Obama is a terrorist and a Muslim, or even the people who still insist that evolution is trickery instilled into peoples' minds by the Devil.

Re:Burn in Hell! (3, Informative)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 2 years ago | (#40387843)

"Those turbo-religious types that have issues with this research aren't just against it because of embryonic destruction. I tend to hear from them about things that aren't natural and that their Lord Almighty Savior of Mighty Omniscient Omnipotence (that they sometimes refer to as God) will choose when someone should die and this research interferes with His will."

As an evangelical, I can assure you that you aren't listening or you are listening to a distinct teeny, tiny minority. And by "teeny, tiny" I mean completely insignificant.

Re:Burn in Hell! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40388713)

And by "teeny, tiny" I mean completely insignificant.

And by insignificant you mean fucking loud.

Re:Burn in Hell! (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40391591)

Can you link to an example of such complaints? Because Im also not seeing this.

This looks, more than anything, like a classic slashdot strawman.

Re:Burn in Hell! (0)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#40391853)

Are you seriously asking for a citation? He is spot-freakin-on.

I can believe that the majority of Christians are more moderate in terms of medical research and simply remain silent and uninvolved on most of the contentious issues. Most people I run into that will align themselves as being Christian have quite moderate views, and most even support gay marriage. Only a few are so rabidly Christian to represent Christian fundamentalism (akin to the Taliban) with considerably less tolerance for others and strong pushes for faith based legislation (the inability to have separation of Church and State).

Crazy nutters like Pat Robertson and the late Jerry "The Purple Teletubby is gay" Falwell are notorious, and prime examples, of the largely-ignored, marginalized, but very loud section of Christians that would rather see people die than benefit from research conducted in a way that defies so-called Biblical truth.

His point about them be very loud even though they might be insignificant is very insightful and accurate. Through my lifetime I have seen plenty of professed Christians loudly representing that many actions, not limited to stem cell research, should be disallowed simply based on interpretations of the Bible and nothing more. This is not in person either, but through various media including, but not limited to, television, radio, and pamphlets left at my doorstop.

Whether or not they are a true minority is quite irrelevant. Their "loudness" actually affects legislation and policy when it comes to abortion, stem cell research, and evolution.

It is not a strawman either, because he does not attempt to refute the position of insignificance, but merely point out that it is irrelevant to the problem at hand, that problem being legislation and controversy affecting the research.

Re:Burn in Hell! (4, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#40388773)

As a distantly former, semi-active "turbo-religious type" (Baptist), from a major metropolitan area that's not in Alabama, I'll second his observations.

There was nothing terribly rare (and certainly not insignificant) about viewing cutting-edge medical science as a meddling denial of God's will. The talking points would probably be a bit more... flowery... and go something along the lines of them being, "desperate attempts to cheat your mortality, to foolishly tell ourselves that we're our own masters, to deny our place as God's children, and that only Jesus' sacrifice can truly save us from suffering." You'd have to talk to a professional preacher to get the exact form of wackiness... I'm a little rusty.

So in this case, if I revisited my old religious groups today I wouldn't be at-all surprised if growing new organs for transplant, however they're presently derived, is considered the fruit of an evil science pioneered in infanticide.

We need to be honest about the underlying issue here... there's no real regard for reason in an institution that depends entirely on a lack thereof. Pretending otherwise (when you're out in public, anyway) is little more than a PR strategy.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40391615)

Im a baptist in a major metropolitan area and I have not heard anything like this, that I can recall.

In fact it is common to pray that a surgeon be given skill and competence when performing a procedure on a member (or whomever we happen to be praying for).

Further, it seems kind of odd to imply that we could somehow deny God's will (in the decretive sense); I had thought evangelicals generally agreed that if God wills something, its GOING to happen. There wouldnt be much point to being a Christian if you could thwart God, now would there?

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#40391895)

there's no real regard for reason in an institution that depends entirely on a lack thereof

Wow. That is an amazingly worded statement about faith. As good as anything I have heard quoted.

Well done.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 2 years ago | (#40388257)

Who has claimed Obama is a terrorist? Even people that claim Obama is muslim think this is far fetched.

Re:Burn in Hell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40389311)

You should check out my new twitter account "Shit My Customers Say" you will be treated to all sorts of obama hatin' Including people calling him a Terrorist

Re:Burn in Hell! (4, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#40388437)

What God wants and does not want are things that can be up for discussion.
If God does in fact exist though I can most assuredly tell you that nothing can interfere with his will.
If something human can interfere with Gods will it would not be much of a God.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 2 years ago | (#40388469)

I am a crazy right wing fox news reading religious lunatic, and I don't see why my Lord Almighty Savior of Mighty Omniscient Omnipotence would have any problem with a human liver grown in a lab. Anybody who thinks research can interfere with God's will believes in a pretty small God.

Re:Burn in Hell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387859)

No one here reads the articles, and they always assume it's embryonic stem cells when I rarely of any results from that branch of research. I know it's still being researched (I have some co-workers who put a lot of money in stocks for an embryonic stem cell R&D company. There was something about a treatment for certain types of blindness that was in early human trials), but it looks like a lot of the stem cell hype is being realized with stem cells harvested from adult skin or marrow.

Looks like all we need are some O- (and whatever other codes indicate low protein markers) donations of batches of cells to force-grow into all sorts of things. Self-supplied cells will be better, little or no chance of rejection, but the right donor cells could be grown into a supply of emergency replacement parts with about as good of acceptance rate as modern transplants.

Re:Burn in Hell! (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40387815)

I know you are making a joke, but these stems cells were iPS (induced pluripotent), i.e. taken from adults, not embryos, and therefore not controversial by any stretch of the imagination or in any viewpoint I'm aware of. On the contrary, they show that you don't need embryonic stem cells to produce medical advances.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387905)

I get that, but what makes you think that some of these people will care about the details? Its like arguing with a brick wall sometimes. Evolution in schools? Brick wall. Politics? Brick wall.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 2 years ago | (#40388307)

Look in the mirror regarding brick walls.

Re:Burn in Hell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40389899)

Just because all you see when YOU look in the mirror is a brick wall doesn't mean that's what everyone sees.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 2 years ago | (#40389551)

One of the primary arguments made by those opposing embryonic stem-cell research is that the benefits can be obtained by induced pluripotent stem cells. This is especially common in discussions regarding government funding of stem-cell research. The argument is that resources should be redirected from embryonic stem-cell research to induced pluripotent stem-cell research. So, yes, they very much care about the details.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40391645)

I think if you cared to do any research, you would find that "these people" tend to be much better informed about this sort of thing than the wider public.

Re:Burn in Hell! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387979)

Yes. But remember that we only found out how to do this with adult cells by working with the embryonic ones, while in production adult cells may be easer resech on embryonic stem cells is still needed to improve our ability to make them reliably and with reduced cancer risk.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40388025)

and therefore not controversial by any stretch of the imagination or in any viewpoint

Heathen. Playing God is controversial in any context!

Re:Burn in Hell! (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40388551)

On the contrary, they show that you don't need embryonic stem cells to produce medical advances.

No one ever argued that you need embryonic stem cells to produce medical advances. What people argue is that we don't really know the properties of embryonic stem cells, and there may be medical advances we can make with those that we cannot make adult stem cells. That a medical advance has been made with adult stem cells says nothing about what we could do with embryonic stem cells.

The set of medical advances we can make with adult stem cells may be identical to the medical advances we can make with embryonic stem cells. On the other hand, they may just overlap. The only way we can know that we are not leaving major medical advances undiscovered is to do research on embryonic stem cells.

Besides, all those embryonic stem cells are just going to the incinerator. It takes one sick, evil piece of shit to prefer incineration to the advancement science.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#40389169)

No one ever argued that you need embryonic stem cells to produce medical advances. What people argue is that we don't really know the properties of embryonic stem cells, and there may be medical advances we can make with those that we cannot make adult stem cells.

Cute, but you're wrong.

What people argue is "Stem cells." The difference is ignored so that huge raging political battles can be held over it, allowing politicians to slander each other with stupidity and create non-existent problems or overstate the terrible actions of their opponents. That helps keep us fighting by giving us one more difference (democrat vs republican, works even better than highlighting racial differences and the like through diversity education and legislation) so that the poor and the middle class can remain at each others' throats while the rich run away with all the fucking money.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40389755)

Besides, all those embryonic stem cells are just going to the incinerator. It takes one sick, evil piece of shit to prefer incineration to the advancement science.

The problem never really was with the cells that already existed (not the main problem, anyways). The problem was that if a discovery was made with them, there would be an incentive to create embryo "farms" to produce more. It's similar to how most people have no problem performing an autopsy, but will get somewhat annoyed if you start creating dead bodies to do so, and research that required embryonic stem cells would lead to that (the argument hinging on whether you believe that human embryos are human beings or not.)

Re:Burn in Hell! (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40389889)

The problem was that if a discovery was made with them, there would be an incentive to create embryo "farms" to produce more.

So, prohibit the non-incidental production of embryonic stem cells. Banning the research is nothing more than deliberate ignorance.

It's similar to how most people have no problem performing an autopsy, but will get somewhat annoyed if you start creating dead bodies to do so

Which is why we have laws prohibiting people from doing anatomy on cadavers. Oh wait, we don't.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#40389973)

It's similar to how most people have no problem performing an autopsy, but will get somewhat annoyed if you start creating dead bodies to do so

In the early days of modern medicine medical schools paid grave robbers to deliver them corpses and it was done illegally because it was against the law at the time, but they didn't go and kill people.

there would be an incentive to create embryo "farms" to produce more

How exactly would you farm embryos? Sounds like something that would be done with petri dishes. Doesn't sound all that sinister to me.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#40390191)

This is not true.

There were several notorious victorian murderers who specialized in killing prostitutes to provide corpses for universities and med schools.

Nasty business.

These days though, enough people leave their bodies to science thanks to a rise in secularism.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#40390075)

While that would certainly be expedient, I can't see that ever happening outside of an untouchable govt program.

Further complicating the issue for the bible bumbers, is that embyonic cells can be harvested without blast destruction. It is commonly used to test blast health prior to implantation in IVF.

Regulations mandating nondestructive harvest only would solve both problems neatly.

But they cling so deperately to "embryonic == murder!" That they can't see anything else, and see hobgoblins and the devil behind ever proceedure and paper.

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40391665)

Besides, all those embryonic stem cells are just going to the incinerator. It takes one sick, evil piece of shit to prefer incineration to the advancement science.

Just a thought experiment to demonstrate how wrongheaded that is:
If someone has instructed in their last will and testament that they wish to be cremated, do you think a scientist would be justified in stealing the body for experimentation? I mean, its destined for the incinerator anyways!

You can argue about the ways in which that differs from the current point of discussion, but the point is that "scientific advancement" is not sufficient justification in all instances.

We can remedy that! (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#40388573)

and therefore not controversial by any stretch of the imagination or in any viewpoint

Dammit! Then we'll just have to make them controversial so that God can be on our side!

Re:Burn in Hell! (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40388577)

I know you are making a joke, but these stems cells were iPS (induced pluripotent), i.e. taken from adults, not embryos, and therefore not controversial by any stretch of the imagination or in any viewpoint I'm aware of. On the contrary, they show that you don't need embryonic stem cells to produce medical advances.

Not so quick! Can a liver bud one day grow up to be a full grown liver? Sacrificing baby livers in the name of science is offensive. One day they could grow up to be President of the United States!

Re:Burn in Hell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387939)

Woohoo! When I die, I want to reincarnate as a fully vat-grown ninja!

(that was a reference to Neuromancer. Read it if you have not.)

Rudimentaries (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 2 years ago | (#40388177)

I don't have any moral objections to them making a rudimentary liver. They can use as many stem cells from rudimentaries as they want. But if they start doing this to make a human liver though, there's going to be outrage!

Jackpot (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387411)

Now I can start drinking again.

Re:Jackpot (5, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#40388491)

Now I can start drinking again.

"Japanese scientists have coaxed stem cells into forming a 5-millimeter-long, three-dimensional tissue that the researchers labelled a liver bud "

Very small drinks.

Re:Jackpot (1)

dintech (998802) | about 2 years ago | (#40388611)

I just informed my Japanese wife, "Wow, Japanese scientists have grown a tiny liver in a lab!"

She said, "Is it tasty?"

Re:Jackpot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40391917)

Oh, I'd so love to find a chick with that kind of a sense of humor.

W.C. Fields (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40387439)

And now chronic drunks rejoice -- this bud's for you!

Re:W.C. Fields (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387497)

Shame they won't get that youth look back, drink really does age you like tobacco does.

Re:W.C. Fields (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387849)

Shame they won't get that youth look back, drink really does age you like tobacco does.

"Hey you look under-aged. Have a drink!"

Re:W.C. Fields (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387819)

And now chronic drunks rejoice -- this bud's for you!

YOu're funny not insightful.

There are plenty of children who are born with liver defects and cancer that requires them to get a transplant for them to live. There are plenty of adults who, because of their own genetic load, have their livers fail for no reason, and yet, someone makes a comment implying that everyone with a liver disease is an alcoholic. That say a lot about people.

But there's more.

Alcoholism is considered to be a defect in character. You are weak if you drink too much - which is more than 4 drinks for men and 2 for women according to the NIH. Yeah, YOU (whoever is reading this) are probably drinking too much, too.

But wait, no one, not even AA, considers that maybe, just maybe, alcoholics and every other substance abuser is self medicating. Some really shitty things happen to people and unfortunately, booze is the easiest option. Tell me of an over the counter anti-anxiety drug - other than alcohol. Tell me.

Yeah, just go to your doc and ask, "Doc, I'm really uptight. Can you give me some Xanax?" Just watch their reaction. Go ahead.

Sure go for psychiatric treatment. Go ahead and you will be forever uninsurable. - unless you get an awesome health insurance plan from an employer and that's assuming they still hire you after they do the background check. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's illegal in some parts, but just prove it. They can ALWAYS say that you didn't meet some requirement that they didn't catch on the last interview. Prove it. And if you do, good luck getting another job. Any job. There's a database that tracks lawsuits against employers.

I know. I lived it.

Re:W.C. Fields (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387863)

Tell me of an over the counter anti-anxiety drug - other than alcohol. Tell me.

Not over the counter, but exercise is free and effective.

Re:W.C. Fields (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40388147)

Tell me of an over the counter anti-anxiety drug - other than alcohol. Tell me.

Not over the counter, but exercise is free and effective.

I hear you! I've got the body of a Greek God. But ....you can only do so much ... my orthopedist is shopping for a private jet ...just say'in..

Re:W.C. Fields (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40388255)

Alcoholism is considered a defect in character because it is a defect in character.

Re:W.C. Fields (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#40388493)

First, I didn't see any comments, alluding to the fact that all people with liver problems are drunks. What I did read, is that a lot of people with drinking problems happen to have liver problems, and they will be very happy about this discovery. Also, there's a lot of ways to combat anxiety without any drugs at all. it may not work for people who are really far gone, but for many people, who have a moderate amount of anxiety, there are a few things you can do without spending any money.

#1, cut out the aritificial stimulants, coffee does nothing good for anxiety

#2. Get a good night's sleep. Ok some people can't sleep well, but (and I admit this might cost money) but sleep aid drugs are easily available (Nytol), and if not abused, can be beneficial.

#3. Get some exercise. I know, it sounds crazy, but exercise can really help to relieve some anxiety. And it also helps with the sleep. It's easy to fall asleep when your body is physically drained.

#4. Talk it out. Find a friend or family member and just talk it out. Talking about stuff with somebody supportive can go a lot way to getting you to stop worrying about stuff. Sometimes just saying stuff out loud is enough for you to figure stuff out for yourself.

Oh good grief! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40389381)

You don't get it. Everyone in recovery KNOWS everything you have suggested 1- 4! They're not stupid. You can only exercise so much - even if you're an Olympic athlete.As for everything else - been their done that.

When you have a lot shit in your head, you can't sleep. Period. You wake up at 2,3,4 AM and then you practice your Buddhist Meditations - Buddhists because they are the ONLY religion who has some inkling of an answer - and try to get some rest for the morrow. YOu can work your ass off on a construction site (done that) and STILL wake up at 2AM. WTF, dude?!?

It sucks.You don't get it.

Here's something to research - you're a Slashdot poster so you're not a ... you'll see for yourself .... go up to the NIH website, do research on substance abuse and just do research on child abuse. That is all.

Just put your mind to it. Your incredible mind. Please.

Re:W.C. Fields (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#40389425)

Get some exercise. I know, it sounds crazy, but exercise can really help to relieve some anxiety.

No, it doesn't sound crazy. Here is an article on the subject [time.com] from Time Magazine. Also look for the study done at Duke University in 1999 where they compared exercise to Zoloft.

Re:W.C. Fields (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about 2 years ago | (#40389237)

Tell me of an over the counter anti-anxiety drug - other than alcohol. Tell me.

Anti-histamines are somewhat effective.

I've been mod'ed down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40389931)

I weep.

not "no reason" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40391237)

There are plenty of children who are born with liver defects and cancer that requires them to get a transplant for them to live. There are plenty of adults who, because of their own genetic load, have their livers fail for no reason

That isn't "no reason". It's being geneticly unfit in a big way. If these people survive, they will create more people that can't survive without liver transplants. Think that could be sustainable? It isn't. As defects build up in the population, it kills the economy. Eventually we get a real collapse, not just some silly recession or depression. Civilization goes down. People die in agony everywhere, unable to live because they are unfit for any environment without major medical help.

BTW, this future doesn't come to pass if such people are somehow prevented from producing offspring. There are many ways, all considered human rights violations. Either we bend our ethics to fit reality, or eventually the shit hits the fan.

yo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387461)

add lemon and rucola

Bigger Penis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387475)

Just until they start growing big penises.
Men all over the world will get "implants".

Re:Bigger Penis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387545)

Why wouldn't you want to be hung like Mandingo? Despite what they tell white boys with tiny peckers, women can easily take 9 to 10" before being bottomed out.

Re:Bigger Penis? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#40387807)

Two counterpoints:

1. Versatility. There's more than one place to put it.

2. It's not the size of the boat, nor is it the motion of the ocean; it's whether the captain stays in harbour long enough for everyone to disembark.

I think there are some obligatory SMBC comics that should be linked here.

Re:Bigger Penis? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#40391779)

3. How fast can you resupply the ship and take on the next group of passengers?

Save the moose (1)

unixhero (1276774) | about 2 years ago | (#40387513)

Tell me Are they using moose in experiments on live animals? I don't know if I should laugh of cry over this.

Re:Save the moose (1)

unixhero (1276774) | about 2 years ago | (#40387587)

hahaha time to go home from the lab now, my eyes doesn't work anymore. moose != mouse science can wait till tomorrow

I'll drink to that! (1)

Mannfred (2543170) | about 2 years ago | (#40387515)

So much for worrying about liver failure in old age.

Re:I'll drink to that! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40387609)

I think that's the way the human race will eventually go - once we can grow replacement organs from stem cells, we can just sub them in as we age as we all start living longer and longer. I think the only sticking point will be the brain, unless we work out how to rejuvenate it.

Re:I'll drink to that! (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 years ago | (#40387845)

we can just sub them in as we age as we all start living longer and longer.

Except for the whole scarring issue. As anyone who has to have knee replacements will tell you, there is a finite amount of time your knees can get replaced not because of the knee itself, but because of the scarring of the knee tissue.

Granted, if you're only going to get one liver replacement (or spleen or kidney or whatever), then scarring isn't an issue.

Re:I'll drink to that! (2)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40387913)

You can reduce the scarring by inhibiting the body's healing response, but that only gets you so far. You also have problems with aseptic loosening when it comes to joint replacements, due to bone reclamation by the body.

It's certainly not all figured out, but we are going to become more and more like hardware with replaceable parts as we age.

Re:I'll drink to that! (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | about 2 years ago | (#40388337)

They'll come up with ways to reduce the scarring too. We'll have multi-hundred year old wealthy people presiding over the slaves who die at 50 and can't afford any medical treatment. Although slaves might be the wrong word; there won't be any work for them to do except to try to scratch a living from the leftovers of the wealthy, who have their needs taken care of by robots.

Re:I'll drink to that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387951)

Not "we all", the very wealthy will receive these kinds of treatments. No one with any power wants your average Joe sticking around for any longer than they need to to produce a new generation of workers.

Re:I'll drink to that! (3, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40388263)

We're not all the USA. All other countries have socialised healthcare where this sort of thing will be "free" (paid for by national insurance contributions at a vastly lower cost than private US medical care).

The longer your population is productive, the more it benefits your economy. Reducing retirements caused by becoming sick or infirm reduces health and welfare costs and keeps your workforce healthy.

Re:I'll drink to that! (-1, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40388435)

We're not all the USA. All other countries have socialised healthcare where this sort of thing will be "free"

Ha-ha. You think socialist healthcare will give old farts operations costing tens of thousands of dollars for free.

One of the main reasons why the NHS (for example) is cheaper than US healthcare is that it routinely refuses treatment for old farts. If I remember correctly, something like 50% of lifetime healthcare spending for the average American happens in the last couple of months of their life, when socialist healthcare would just let them die earlier.

Re:I'll drink to that! (5, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40389013)

We're not all the USA. All other countries have socialised healthcare where this sort of thing will be "free"

Ha-ha. You think socialist healthcare will give old farts operations costing tens of thousands of dollars for free.

One of the main reasons why the NHS (for example) is cheaper than US healthcare is that it routinely refuses treatment for old farts. If I remember correctly, something like 50% of lifetime healthcare spending for the average American happens in the last couple of months of their life, when socialist healthcare would just let them die earlier.

Errr... yes?

In my own family alone, "old farts" that I know personally have had a heart transplant, an 18-hour spinal realignment, major heart surgery, a partial liver transplant... all for "free".

Of course, it's not "free" - we pay for it with national insurance contributions. The cost is vastly, vastly lower than what is spent in the US because we have a nationalised system. While there is waste and overhead, it is nowhere near what it is in the US. It's why we spend less than half our GDP per capita compared to the USA (8% vs 16%), yet have longer life expectancy and no crippling debts brought on by healthcare costs.

If you think that the NHS "routinely refuses treatment" for old farts then I suggest you stop getting your "facts" from Fox News and talk to people who *actually live here*.

Re:I'll drink to that! (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#40389235)

Actually, those heroic measures at the end tend to be hyper expensive (and profitable) but are as likely to shorten life as they are to lengthen it and definitely degrade the quality of life.

So, with the profit motive gone, they skip all of that because it's in the patient's best interest. Do you REALLY want your family bankrupted so you can lay in a bed, in pain, unsure of who you are or why you're there for an extra 2 weeks?

Socialist healthcare will gladly do something USEFUL that allows you to be a contributing member of society for a while longer (where contribution may or may not include actual employment).

Re:I'll drink to that! (1)

Stickerboy (61554) | about 2 years ago | (#40391869)

Actually, those heroic measures at the end tend to be hyper expensive (and profitable) but are as likely to shorten life as they are to lengthen it and definitely degrade the quality of life.

So, with the profit motive gone, they skip all of that because it's in the patient's best interest. Do you REALLY want your family bankrupted so you can lay in a bed, in pain, unsure of who you are or why you're there for an extra 2 weeks?

Socialist healthcare will gladly do something USEFUL that allows you to be a contributing member of society for a while longer (where contribution may or may not include actual employment).

Spoken like someone who isn't involved in healthcare.

I treat critical care patients on a more or less daily basis. I can guarantee you that it is profitable for neither the hospital nor the physician for extremely sick patients to receive multiple heroic interventions at the end of life. Yes, it is "hyper expensive", for everyone involved. And the hospital / physician will likely be reimbursed at a lesser rate or not be reimbursed at all for those measures. From a financial standpoint, the most profitable hospitalized patients are those that recover sooner than expected, with as few expensive procedures and imaging as needed. The reason is that most insurance companies and the government are reimbursing based on "average" costs and hospital stays for the illnesses that are being treated in any given patient. So if patient John Doe takes $100,000 of heroic measures when the reimbursement for his illnesses from the major payers is set at $10,000, the hospital usually ends up eating most of that cost. Conversely, if you only have to incur $5,000 worth of costs to send John Doe home healthy and happy, guess what? Someone probably just made a bunch of money.

The #1 main reason why the end of life has historically been filled with "hyper expensive" heroic measures is because here in the US, public health education (along with public education in general) is horrible. The average Joe has no clue what's going on with his body or what to expect if illness strikes. Conversations about advanced directives, end-of-life decision making, etc. that should take place before you get sick end up being hashed out over days or weeks through multiple emotionally distraught family members. If Grandma Jane goes to the hospital, her family has no reasonable expectation of what the most advanced healthcare system in the world can or can't deliver. All of this, of course, is a recipe for medical cost disaster in aggregate for the US because what should be quiet, comfortable, planned-out deaths with a minimum of fuss and expense and a maximum of comfort becomes long, drawn-out ordeals because no one, the least of all the family of Grandma Jane, knows when to say enough is enough. And the doctors and nurses are professionally obligated in the absence of effective decision making to keep prolonging the inevitable up until the point where A) the decision is made or B) the limits of medical science are exhausted. The US has the most technologically advanced and adept health care available anywhere; but no one ever can ever be bothered to figure out before hand how they want to use it.

As far as the "future" of medicine, when the expensive, lab-grown genetically customized organ replacements hit; I expect it to be limited for decades to a select few who can either A) pay for it out of pocket or B) meet extremely limited selection criteria. Research the history of renal dialysis if you need a good example. Organ transplant surgeries today are more or less already rationed by the scarcity of organs ready to be transplanted; once that ends governments and insurance companies will start inventing other ways to ration it.

If only they could grow common sense in a lab dish (1)

CityZen (464761) | about 2 years ago | (#40387539)

Of course, there would still be the problem of getting the horse to drink...

Misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387547)

Thought it said "Rudiementary Lover Grown in a Dish" Knowing I was on slashdot, that would totally be news for nerds.

The Mysterious Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387597)

I AM IN YOU!

Need bile ducts! (5, Informative)

b_dover (773956) | about 2 years ago | (#40387685)

Unfortunately, the bile ducts are an important part of what the liver does, i.e. produce bile, which we need to digest fats. Furthermore, bile is used to remove bilirubin, a was product of the liver tearing down red blood cells. An excess of bilirubin is what makes people with liver problems turn yellow. This does seem like a great step forward in growing organs however. The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body.

Re:Need bile ducts! (4, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#40387831)

No problem, there's enough bile on /. to share with everyone. That's not even getting into the great bile reserves on fark, reddit, or even usenet.

tro0lkore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387761)

philosophies must have sfomebody just

This begs the question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40387779)

So, we have Japanese scientists... where is Sir Cort Godfrey of the Nessie Alliance? Should he not be summoned to cast a protective spell over their lab and its local residents and all those who seek for the peaceful existence of our rodent allies?

Big deal (-1, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#40387785)

So these Japanese researchers put some stem cells in a dish and got a little liver. So what? I once put a fifty on the table and got a little head.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40388085)

Does it taste as good as ordinary liver?

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40389795)

The NOVA show http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/replacing-body-parts.html said they could do this PBS Airdate: January 26, 2011.

Two-time liver transplant recipient here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40391379)

Let me just give this a big:

SCIENCE, FUCK YEAH!

Yes I know its not even close to being usable, in fact, I imagine it wont be ready by the time I need yet another transplant. But things like this and the work being done around liver dialysis machines are goddamned amazing.

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