Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Whole Organ Grown In Animal For First Time

samzenpus posted about three weeks ago | from the inside-job dept.

Medicine 77

An anonymous reader writes British scientists have produced the first working organ grown from scratch in a living animal. Reprogrammed cells created in a lab were used in a mouse to produce a thymus. The organ was created using connective tissue cells from a mouse embryo and were converted into a different cell strain by changing a genetic switch in their DNA. The resulting cells grew into the whole organ after being injected. It has only been tested on mice so far, but researchers at Edinburgh University say that within a decade the procedure could be effective and safe enough for humans. The findings were published in Nature Cell Biology.

cancel ×

77 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

can it be used to enlarge members? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751121)

Just saying... ;)

Re:can it be used to enlarge members? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47753557)

Just saying... ;)

I can safely say, yes, due to this news the researchers at Edinburgh University will undoubtedly have many new members. :^)

Re:can it be used to enlarge members? (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about three weeks ago | (#47754141)

Just saying... ;)

I can safely say, yes, due to this news the researchers at Edinburgh University will undoubtedly have many new members. :^)

Oddly, they will have female names but a male gender listing... it would appear someone told them to "grow a pair"...

Re:can it be used to enlarge members? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47762375)

Ok, from an engineering standpoint: are you talking about a load bearing member? What kind of load does this member bear?

John Wayne Bobbit here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751123)

I welcome this news!

Re:John Wayne Bobbit here (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about three weeks ago | (#47751143)

Wow, been saving that one up for a while 'eh?

Re:John Wayne Bobbit here (2)

LifesABeach (234436) | about three weeks ago | (#47753961)

A new organ? 10 years? I can hardly mait!

Fuck Islam, yo! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751137)

Child molesting, innocent people beheading, fucking lying, cunt ass whores. That's all Islam's all about.
 
Fuck MoHammad!!!!! Fuck Allah!!!!! Fuck Islam!!!!!
 
Eat shit and die, Muslim cunt ass bitch.
 
Anyone who mods this down is a Muslim sympathizer who takes it up the ass for their bullshit lies.

Re:Fuck Islam, yo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47756937)

Can you show us on the Doll where the Imam touched you?

Prior art (5, Funny)

kruach aum (1934852) | about three weeks ago | (#47751163)

I have been growing whole, working organs in my own body since at least 1984.

Re:Prior art (1)

replicacobra (3028663) | about three weeks ago | (#47751233)

Longer, if you think about it. Before you were distinct from your mother, you were a parasite within her. Before that, you were an egg cell in her ovaries. She was born with the egg that later became you intact, so you are as old as your mother is. But what is true for you is true for her; she is as old as her mother. You are as old as your grandmother. You are as old as the predecessors of humanity. You are an ancient entity that has periodically (no pun intended) remade itself based on external genetic material.

Re:Prior art (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751561)

Ironically, I've been growing one in his mother for a decade.

Re:Prior art (2)

metrix007 (200091) | about three weeks ago | (#47751731)

No individual was ever an egg. The earliest the individual could said to be formed is at the zygote stage.

Re:Prior art (0)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about three weeks ago | (#47751925)

What do you think went into the zygote? No eggs, or more than one egg?

Re:Prior art (3, Insightful)

Your.Master (1088569) | about three weeks ago | (#47754613)

That's not really clear in any sense.

It comes down to the definition of "individual". The zygote is the first case where you are genetically complete at probably 99.99+% of the same genes you have as an adult. But are you your genes?

Can a zygote truly be referred to as an individual? If so, why can't an egg? Is your definition of "individual" a clump of cells that share the same gene sequences? If so, then are twins two individuals? Why or why not?

We have an intuitive notion of what these things mean and it works after a baby is born and it gets weirder the earlier you go.

Re:Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751771)

If you think about this for just a little bit, then you know this is pure BS.
If it was true, then you would be as old as your grand-grand-grand-.... mother.

Re:Prior art (1)

tsa (15680) | about three weeks ago | (#47752235)

That is actually a pretty cool philosophy. Thanks!

Re:Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47755771)

She was born with the egg that later became you intact, so you are as old as your mother is.

Only if you use two different definitions of age.

Re:Prior art (1)

vux984 (928602) | about three weeks ago | (#47751283)

I have been growing whole, working organs in my own body since at least 1984.

pfft... one set for personal use? Nearly all of us can do that. Even my cat managed it. Call me when you can grow something on demand. :)

Re:Prior art (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about three weeks ago | (#47751705)

Call me when you can grow something on demand.

Pfft... show me a pic of Salma Hayek.

Re:Prior art (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about three weeks ago | (#47751785)

Pfft... show me a pic of Salma Hayek.

I have a couple of those in my head.... truly, on demand.

Re:Prior art (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about three weeks ago | (#47751935)

http://www.freakingnews.com/pi... [freakingnews.com]

Now give me my kidney!

Re:Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47754249)

http://www.freakingnews.com/pi... [freakingnews.com]

Now give me my kidney!

I'd still hit it as long as we were both watching TV.

Re:Prior art (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about three weeks ago | (#47751441)

> I have been growing whole, working organs in my own body since at least 1984.

"Whole, working organs growing in your mom 9 months earlier" jokes in 3..2..1..

Re:Prior art (1)

antdude (79039) | about three weeks ago | (#47753591)

So, you're 30 years old. ;)

Sweet. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about three weeks ago | (#47751177)

This is great news.
Soon we can get all our parts replaced as needed. Or even ahead of time. Have an extra heart put in now! :)

Re:Sweet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751269)

This is great news.
Soon we can get all our parts replaced as needed. Or even ahead of time. Have an extra heart put in now! :)

Big Pharma is pissed

Re:Sweet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751351)

Some big pharma. Others take their place. Bet a new organ won't be cheap. With all those regulations...

Re:Sweet. (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about three weeks ago | (#47751553)

This is big pharma. There's a university-industrial complex out there, that researches then produces new treatments. This is step 1 of how those companies you hate make a new product.

Re:Sweet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751757)

This is big pharma. There's a university-industrial complex out there, that researches then produces new treatments. This is step 1 of how those companies you hate make a new product.

You forgot to mention the side effect buried in the fine print where they design the new product to be totally and utterly reliant upon the old product...why have only one revenue stream when you can have two.

Re:Sweet. (2)

bored_engineer (951004) | about three weeks ago | (#47751909)

*shudder* This made me think of Repo Men [imdb.com] .

Re:Sweet. (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about three weeks ago | (#47751285)

I would think that the replacement surgery would still come with some risks. Best not to undergo a transplant just because organs are available. Although It would be interesting if how this would play into sports competitions. Get a larger/stronger heart or larger lungs inserted into your chest in order to increase your physical abilities. You can't do this now because there's no way you would get on the donor list if there wasn't something wrong with your organs to begin with. But if organs could be created on an as needed basis, there's no reason why people shouldn't be allowed to substitute better organs for their own.

Re:Sweet. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751541)

I would think that the replacement surgery would still come with some risks.

The surgery will come with risks, but the organ rejection won't be one of them. Get some of your cells scraped out and have a batch of essential organs grown for you.

Family history of heart attack? Start a couple spare hearts.
Drinking problem? A spare liver-mass to cut donations off of and a couple backup kidneys.
Afraid of diabetes? Get a spare pancreas ready in case the one you're using breaks down.
Former smoker? Fresh, unspoiled lungs, just wait for them to grow.

Other, more recreational demands? Feels more natural than silicone because it is!
Alternately: Gain 3 inches in just 8 hours of precarious microsurgery and a 6 week recovery period when peeing will be like a taste of hell!

Re:Sweet. (2)

geekoid (135745) | about three weeks ago | (#47751579)

Just get everything replaced every 50 years. Always feel like your 25!

Re:Sweet. (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about three weeks ago | (#47752185)

Including your brain.

Endless summer!

Re:Sweet. (3, Insightful)

Fwipp (1473271) | about three weeks ago | (#47751571)

It'd be really nice for people who were born without the organs in question. First it'll probably be for people with a straight-forward birth defect, but eventually, this could possibly grow gonads for trans people, allowing their bodies to produce their own hormones. I'd be pretty excited if I could eventually stop taking synthetic estrogens.

Re:Sweet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47772007)

Type 1 diabetic here who would tooooootally appreciate being able to grow a new pancreas after they figure out how to turn off the auto-immune response that killed my beta cells in the first place.

Luckily I've been accepted into the Phase II trials at Faustman Labs for the BCG treatment with the goal of turning off that immune response. I would love to delude myself with the possibility of being cured in the next 5 years.

Ok killjoys, my heart is on the line, go ahead and pooh-pooh the idea.

Re:Sweet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47794529)

I was born without an organ. Or a piano, or keyboard of any type.

Re:Sweet. (4, Informative)

gurps_npc (621217) | about three weeks ago | (#47751573)

Actually, that's exactly how they do kidney transplants. They don't bother cutting out your failed kidney - that would just lead to more bleeding and possible complications.

So instead they just give you a third kidney that hopefully works a lot better than the two original ones that failed.

Doctor gave me a pill and I grew a new kidney! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751237)

Doctor gave me a pill and I grew a new kidney!

Wouldn't it be rejected? (3, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | about three weeks ago | (#47751279)

This means the developing thymus would not be a tissue match for the patient.

It would seem like organs grown in animals would contain animal proteins and cell receptors. I wonder how they get around that in the patient ready organs? Freaking amazing. Not quite as amazing if the recipient has to live on anti-rejection drugs the rest of their lives, but still impressive.

Researchers also need to be sure that the transplant cells do not pose a cancer risk by growing uncontrollably.

Slight problem there.

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751397)

An organ grown in an animal would be an animal organ - sure. Which is why you would grow a new organ inside the patient instead. That way, it'd be his own organ - a perfect match. Lost your kidneys to poisoning? Grow new ones. Have surgery that hook the new ones up to the right places, and live normally thereafter . . .

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (4, Interesting)

alexander_686 (957440) | about three weeks ago | (#47751917)

Maybe not.

One could grow organs inside a person's body or in a tube, but there are issues about blood supply, proper growth, etc. A possible solution would be to grow human organs in animal hosts. Transgenic pigs are often cited as a possible choice. They are about the right size for many organs and their immune system should be able to be tweaked so as not to reject the foreign tissue. Of course, this approach has other technical hurdles to overcome. I am not willing to bet on what the answer will be.

Still in the realm of science fiction but we are getting closer every day.

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (3, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about three weeks ago | (#47751437)

Well, almost certainly in the test mice they debilitated the immune system so they could prove the theory.

You know how medical science is. All of these stages are repeated multiple times when relevant.
First you prove basic mechanism in a pure environment.
Then you prove it works in animal models.
Then you prove it's reliably safe in animal models.
Then you prove it doesn't immediately kill people in small controlled clinical trials, with high risk patients.
Then you demonstrate that it's more effective than the current treatment under specific circumstances in double blind clinical trials.
Congratulations, you're now a legitimate "experimental treatement".

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about three weeks ago | (#47752397)

Indeed. There is no malpractice worry from the animal study(ies).

I think they trick the test subjects into signing a EULA-like rights waiver.

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (5, Informative)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about three weeks ago | (#47751449)

You missed the entire point of the project.
The idea is not to grow new organs in animals for transplant into people, but to develop the means to inject a 'starter kit' of cells into the patient, and have the patient grow a new organ right in their own body.
So, for someone missing a lung to cancer, or a kidney, or a thymus, (apparently this is what they grew in the test) maybe a spleen, those things you can live without for a bit, (aided by modern medicine obviously) while your body manufactures a new one using their starter kit of cells. I suppose, now that I think about it, they might even be able to eventually grow you a new heart while your body ran on an artificial heart for a bit. The end goal here is to end the need for transplants by being able to force the body to build a new part from scratch. They pointed out that, at this stage, the technique still has the risk of rejection by the body, because it starts with fetal cells (they did this in mice by the way) but their goal is to eventually produce the same results using cells from the end host, so there is no rejection issues.

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752163)

In case anyone thinking of donating a kidney get spooked: you can live with just the one just fine.

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (1)

dasunt (249686) | about three weeks ago | (#47752921)

I suppose, now that I think about it, they might even be able to eventually grow you a new heart while your body ran on an artificial heart for a bit.

Would you need an artificial heart? Could it be possible to grow another heart somewhere else in the body?

As the new organ matures, then it could be transplanted to replace the existing one.

Re: Wouldn't it be rejected? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about three weeks ago | (#47753415)

Desynchronized pumping action would be a problem I imagine. Our heart valves aren't really designed to cope with more then the one.

Re: Wouldn't it be rejected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47754751)

A pacemaker can keep two hearts synchronized.

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about three weeks ago | (#47754397)

I have a genetic, degenerative kidney disease. My kidneys slowly get worse and worse over decades. An injection that grows me a new kidney with my own genes would be close to magic for me, despite approximately knowing how it works.
Even if the new kidney had the same genetic damage as the current two, if I replaced them in 10 years I will then be able to use them for at least 30 years. Then I'll be 70 years old so another one would probably last me the rest of my life.

This is exiting research for me.

Re:Wouldn't it be rejected? (2)

Payden K. Pringle (3483599) | about three weeks ago | (#47751877)

And that's where this comes in [wimp.com] . (skip to 6:45)

The idea is that you use the animal to actually grow the organ (such as an ape or large monkey), then you get rid of the animal-specific cells using the solution in the video and put the patient's cells on the organ letting them grow making it the patient's organ, effectively. The animal is just there to grow the base protein structure for the patient's cells to grow from. Then, using scanning technology, you can check the organ for defects before actually putting it in the patient, as a protein structure by itself has less to worry about radiation than living cells do.

It's really fascinating stuff.

Tocatta and Fugue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751287)

Play Bach's Tocatta on it. It must be that kind of organ, because I'm pretty sure whole organs have been growing inside of animals for quite some time.

Human host (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751303)

Wealthy Americans will be taking trips to poor countries where people will sell their body for growing organs - just to get enough money to feed their families..

"Are you pregnant?" (1)

muhula (621678) | about three weeks ago | (#47751343)

"No... just, you know, growing a new liver and heart in mah belly"

Whole organ? (1)

henkvanderlaak (965214) | about three weeks ago | (#47751383)

Hope it was a Hammond B3. Love them.

Great, but... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about three weeks ago | (#47751419)

... I need a new piano.

Assholes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751459)

Fucking assholes. Stop abusing animals.

Thank you Medical Science (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about three weeks ago | (#47751473)

Things like this is why I despise all the quacks that vilify the medical profession.

Homeopathy does not cure people, doctors do.

Anti-Vaxers don't end Autism, doctors will.

And some day soon, we will be able to grow replacement Thalmuses, hopefully with kidneys, livers, hearts and lungs soon to follow.

God bless real doctors, for they deliver miracles onto us.

Re:Thank you Medical Science (1)

geek (5680) | about three weeks ago | (#47751551)

Things like this is why I despise all the quacks that vilify the medical profession.

Homeopathy does not cure people, doctors do.

Careful throwing around that word "cure" because doctors actually "cure" very little. They "treat" a great deal however.

Anti-Vaxers don't end Autism, doctors will.

How can you be sure of this? They dont even know for sure what causes it.

And some day soon, we will be able to grow replacement Thalmuses, hopefully with kidneys, livers, hearts and lungs soon to follow.

You jump to this conclusion from one article related to a mouse? You're far to willing to buy into this. When/if it gets to human trials then you can start making these types of claims.

God bless real doctors, for they deliver miracles onto us.

No they deliver science and medicine. Look up the word miracle. You're using it wrong.

Re:Thank you Medical Science (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about three weeks ago | (#47751593)

You can use the word miracle the way you want to. For me, and a whole bunch of other people, this is exactly what we mean by the word miracle.

See "Miracle drug", also the "miracle of birth", and a bunch of other people.

The rest of your arguments are similarly focused on one peculiar and particular point of view.

Re:Thank you Medical Science (1)

geekoid (135745) | about three weeks ago | (#47751643)

Because anti-vaxxers don't actual do anything with science, Doctors do. And we get closer to finding the cause all the time.
"You jump to this conclusion from one article related to a mouse? "
Since we have people with grown parts in their body right now, it's not that far of a leap.
Yes, more testing is required for this method.
The posters point is science works, magically thinking does not.

Re:Thank you Medical Science (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about three weeks ago | (#47754419)

Anti-Vaxers don't end Autism, doctors will.

How can you be sure of this? They dont even know for sure what causes it.

While I can't be sure, doctors have a far better chance to cure it than the anti-vaxxers.

Excellent... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about three weeks ago | (#47751585)

This will be a brilliant investing opportunity when the technology comes to age, whether "having your own grown to sell" or simply "investing in the company."

She says, he says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751603)

She: You're a pig!
He: Yes, yes I am.

Thymus is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47751673)

As far as I know, the thymus is could be anywhere in your body and as long as it has blood flow it will still work to at least some degree.

Now the question is; can they produce integrated organs like lungs, hearts or intestines that are part of a much larger system where placement and flow are of vital importance. It's no use growing a new small intestine if it's not connected to anything.

I can't wait to hear (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about three weeks ago | (#47751677)

the first toccata.

Does this mean (1)

Kanopy (3026223) | about three weeks ago | (#47751715)

That our "leaders" will finally get the brains they need so desperately?

within a decade = never (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752091)

Another medical breakthrough just 10 years away, blah blah blah. They got nothing but want to get more grant money. Do it in a human and I'll believe them.

Irritated (0)

LaughingRadish (2694765) | about three weeks ago | (#47752293)

I'm starting to get irritated with press releases like this. I'm seeing all these breakthroughs in medicine, but it's only for mice. The latest of these that got my goat was an every-other-day injection that turns off type-2 diabetes. Instead of monitoring blood sugar and calculating insulin doses, a diabetic would inject this stuff every other day and insulin resistance would be gone and the body would be once again able to regulate itself.

organ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47752357)

I perfer a piano

Organ Schmorgan... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about three weeks ago | (#47753375)

I'm not going to be impressed until I hear somebody play Jerusalem on it...with reverb.

And that's not all... (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about three weeks ago | (#47754511)

,,,next week they're growing a piano in an ear of corn.

How about ... (1)

Reisbombe (3448413) | about three weeks ago | (#47754643)

... growing whole humans inside a human body - THAT would impress me.

"Whole Organ Grown In Animal For First Time" (1)

timothy (36799) | about three weeks ago | (#47755459)

Well ... not the *first* time.

Old news. (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about three weeks ago | (#47761035)

Animals have had whole organs growing in them for years!

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>