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Cardiac Patch for a Broken Heart

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the better-than-a-bandaid dept.

Biotech 147

Roland Piquepaille writes "People who suffered from heart attacks or other heart failures often need transplants because their hearts are essentially non-functioning. But imagine what would happen if it was possible to engineer living heart tissues to fix these broken hearts? This is what bioengineers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City are starting to make. According to HealthDay News, their patches for broken hearts are made of heart tissue grown in the lab. Right now, animal trials are just starting and it will take at least a decade before human trials begin. But when these living bandages are ready for cardiac care, they'll have the potential to save millions of lives in the world every year."

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147 comments

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comes to mind: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535525)

" from the.. bottom of my broken heart...~~~ there's just one thing i'd like you to know...

My patch (4, Funny)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535527)

I prefer my patch for a broken heart. Glen Morangie.

Re:My patch (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535645)

Pfft, I did a Google Image search for "Glen Morangie," hoping to score pictures of some hot chick...only to find alcohol. Pathetic!

Re:My patch (1)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536376)

alcohol > hot chick

You saw this coming Re:My patch (2, Funny)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535714)



Patching is for paranoids, I'd rather check out the bleeding edge release.

Re:My patch (1)

yimmy (783773) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536316)

Oh this is just great, once they can just patch a heart then they'll start releasing hearts with bugs in them just to keep them on schedule

But will this work... (4, Funny)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535533)

..for my broken heart caused by my mean ex-girlfriend leaving me for another man?

No? Then forget it. Back to alcohol and chocolate for me.

Re:But will this work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535568)

Mmmm... chocolate.

Re:But will this work... (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535610)

Chocolate?!? Try a strip club. Just get too drunk there or you might end up another kind of broke.

Re:But will this work... (-1, Flamebait)

Richthofen80 (412488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535708)

Maybe if you weren't a pussy posting on slashdot about your heartache, you would be the kind of man who doesn't get cheated on.

Re:But will this work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14536367)

Parent poster speaks truth.

Re:But will this work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535745)

At least she left you for a man! Imagine walking in on your girlfriend getting the shocker from some other chick! (And no, it didn't turn out the way you're thinking.)

If it's anything like a MS Windows patch... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535541)

the heart will work again for a little bit, but other major organs that iteract with the heart will cease to function correctly, and the new patch will somehow allow the heart to be more vulnerable to viruses.

Re:If it's anything like a MS Windows patch... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536366)

"If it's anything like a MS Windows patch... the heart will work again for a little bit, but other major organs that iteract with the heart will cease to function correctly, and the new patch will somehow allow the heart to be more vulnerable to viruses."

Har harr harr heee heee heee giggle giggle *slapping knee* giggle snort.

Ooo! Tell us the one about the MS car that always crashes!

Die Roland Piquepaille, Die (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535551)

That's German for "The Rolan Piquepaille, The".

Re:Die Roland Piquepaille, Die (0, Offtopic)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535755)

Isn't Rolan a man's name?

Re:Die Roland Piquepaille, Die (1, Offtopic)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14536060)

His homepage link is ref=nofollow'd. So you don't really have a reason to bitch anymore.

Will they schedule them for tuesdays? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535555)

Or move to some other day to minimize heart attacks caused by 'patch overloading'?

Stem cell source (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535558)

There is a common, deliberate attempt to blur and hide the source of stem cells. Are they delivered from abortions or umbilical cords or from spinal cords?

Whether everyone else agrees or not, Catholics have strong objections to abortions and, thus, to any product derived from the tissues of aborted children. Thus there is a demand, froma Catholic perspective, and a refusal, from an anticatholic perspective, to differentiate cells derived from aborted babies.

on vaccines from aborted babies:
http://www.geocities.com/titus2birthing/VacProLife .html [geocities.com]
http://www.cogforlife.org/fetalvaccinetruth.htm [cogforlife.org]

http://www.physiciansforlife.ca/stemcells.html [physiciansforlife.ca]
www.priestsforlife.org

Re:Stem cell source (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535636)

But isn't the phrase 'aborted babies' misleading as they have not been born yet. Fetuses may be the correct word.

Also the phrase: 'from an anticatholic perspective'

---FLAME ON!

Wouldn't an anticatholic perspective be pointing out that the low estimate of catholic priests involved in homosexual child abuse in the US is 10%.

It's old, but I like it (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14536043)

Why did the catholic priest go to Macy's on saturday?

He heard that boy's pants were half off.

Re:It's old, but I like it (1)

scotch (102596) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536171)

Seen on the bumpersticker of priest's car: "Abstinence makes the churc grow fondlers".

Unluckily (5, Funny)

DyslexicLegume (875291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535559)

...patches will only be available on the first Tuesday of every month. Any severe heart attacks occuring between these so called "patch days" will have to wait.

Re:Unluckily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535958)

I'm going to wait for Heart 3.0, instead. Nothing worse than a patchy heart.

she could get a new job. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535565)

"The real challenge is that you have to place the patch upon the heart in a way that it integrates into the heart," she said. "You don't want it to just sit there as a separate entity. It needs to connect electrically so that it syncs up with signals coming from the cells, so everything works together." Getting the patch's blood vessels to merge with those of the host heart will be another challenge, she added."

She could teach microsoft a thing or two.

Heal a broken heart? (1)

themysteryman73 (771100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535577)

Only time can heal a broken heart *sigh* :P

Very interesting, but why just for cardiac tissue? (5, Interesting)

keilinw (663210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535578)

This is all very interesting. If and when they do manage to come out with the cardiac patch I would suspect (as well as hope) that they would have patches to fix other tissue types (striated, smooth, etc).

I'm also wondering if it was possible to use cancer research to produce an anti-cancer... No I do not mean a cancer cure, but an infection of healthy living tissue. Is it possible to introduce healthy tissue into a body or system and have it spread in a cancer like fashion repairing everything in its path? That would be way too cool!

--Matt Wong
http://www.themindofmatthew.com [themindofmatthew.com]

Re:Very interesting, but why just for cardiac tiss (1)

Mike570 (884414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535613)

Assuming this works, it would pave the way for other tissues to be potentially grown. If they can actually make lasting tissue for one of the hardest working organs in the body, I imagine they could easily make it for something else.

Re:Very interesting, but why just for cardiac tiss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535625)

You mean like cylon/human hybrid blood?

Re:Very interesting, but why just for cardiac tiss (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535661)

Is it possible to introduce healthy tissue into a body or system and have it spread in a cancer like fashion repairing everything in its path?

Problem is, that's kind of what tumors already are -- normal tissues without the normal restriction on growth. (Yes, I realize that's a huge oversimplification. You don't need to explain why.) Almost by definition you can't beat cancer by adding new tissue to outcompete it.

Re:Very interesting, but why just for cardiac tiss (2, Interesting)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535801)

...because cardiac tissue usually doesn't regenerate. Your heart is significantly weakened after a heart attack, so "whatever doesn't kill you make you stonger" doesn't apply.

As others pointed out, planting "healthy" tissue that outgrows cancer is just giving someone a worse cancer.

Re:Very interesting, but why just for cardiac tiss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535900)

Think in terms of reality for a moment.

Who cares how lethal it really is when you can make money from suckers who'll buy it?

Dick Cheney (5, Funny)

Mike570 (884414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535588)

FINALLY, there's hope for Dick Cheney! Now if only they knew how to grow a brain for Georie.

Re:Dick Cheney (0, Flamebait)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535694)

Now if only they knew how to grow a brain for Georie.


It would be very easy to get donor tissue for that proceedure... just take a chunk out of his ass.

Re:Dick Cheney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535696)

>> brain for Georie.

Yep, it sure looks like George is the one who needs a brain grown for him!

Re:Dick Cheney (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535718)

Why do liberals always seem to attack others' physical disabilities? Cheney has a weak heart, so what? he's a good man who works hard to protect us even with a defect which could kill him from the strain. Bush didn't get the best grades in college, so what? Neither did Einstein. Bush knows who the experts are and he surrounds himself with them in order to protect us from the animals who attacked us on 9/11. Would you forgo protection? Do you want to allow the animals to overrun this country and slit your throat? I didn't think so. I for one am grateful for their help and safety in this wicked world.

Re:Dick Cheney (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535891)

A/C you are a Great American to state the Truth. And I'll take a shot at you question. Why? Because they want us to THINK they care about those who are not perfect, when in fact they use those same shortcomings against those they are "protecting" and to advance themselves. It's all an ACT to get CONTROL over people. If you go way back you'll see that some very well known Liberals were against integration of blacks (G.Wallace was a Democrat), were racists (R.Byrd was a prominent KKK member), and even FOR Slavery back during the Civil War (Lincoln was a Republican). They have also instituted programs like the FDR "Great Society" Welfare that KEEP people down, and tell those folks if they vote for them the money continues, else who knows what may happen. They also lost the Vietnam War. Come on you 20 something panty waist liberals and the Euro-wackys who don't even live here let's see you respond with the typical FUD talking points from the Party and the liberal college professors. I can predict what you are going to say, and none of it holds up to scrutiny. Mod me to -100, I got Karma to burn.

Re:Dick Cheney (1)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535944)

It's a joke about Cheney not having a heart in the figurative sense. Look up the word heartless [reference.com] .

Re:Dick Cheney (1)

adyus (678739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535802)


I'm afraid you're gonna have to ask the Wonderful Wizard of Oz for that...
 
Besides, if he can't do it, no one can :D

I could have sworn... (3, Funny)

Impeesa (763920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535591)

...you were supposed to patch before an attack happened. I guess I was wrong.

Tissue Engineering isn't just for hearts either. (5, Interesting)

mwooldri (696068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535595)

My son's bladder was born on the outside - and needed it reversed. His surgeon at the time got to the point before putting it back in the body but then something happened: he moved on. However his new surgeon - Dr. Atala - is a guy renowned in the field for tissue re-engineering. My son's bladder is now back on the inside but one of the exciting things that is happening right now is that he has more of a chance of getting his bladder completely fixed out now than at any other time. His bladder is too small... and needs augmenting. The "traditional" way has been to augment the bladder with intestine tissue (often needing an extra channel for urine excretion), but Dr. Atala has managed to figure out how to augment the bladder - at least AFAIK in animals - with engineered tissue based on the original bladder. And the guy was attracted to our area to continue his research.

I'm excited about this growth area in medicine - not as a doctor or as a medical professional (sorry I am squeamish at blood) - but as a parent of a child who stands to benefit enormously from this kind of research. I hope and pray that this kind of stuff - patching hearts, augmenting bladders, mending broken organs in general - all develops and gets to the point of viability in time.

Mark.

Re:Tissue Engineering isn't just for hearts either (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535684)

It's really amazing what doctors can do these days, and your son is very lucky to have such a qualified doctor. I can't even imagine the medical innovations that will occur in the next fifty years, and we'll all probably live much longer (and better) because of this.

"Broken heart", indeed... (-1, Offtopic)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535605)

Man, I read that title and was already thinking "This has got to be another Roland Picuquepaile submission..."

Why not stop the root causes? (1, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535619)

Either tax cigarettes out of existance, prevent people from obtaining health care on the government's dime if they smoked or ban them altogether. Allowing cigarettes to exist after 400 years of knowing about their disastrous consequences for not only the smoker but people around him is insane.

Start a fat and salt tax. If you serve more than 100 customers a day and your food is unhealthy charge the expected cost in healthcare that triple cheeseburger is going to cost in 30 years when that customer is just another fat ass with colon cancer.

Make cities walkable again, set off a portion of every downtown that people can walk around without the smell of diesel and gasoline in their nostrils on an otherwise fine day.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

peektwice (726616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535667)

I'm sorry. You seem to think that the root cause is the industry that sells these sorts of things to the people that want them. Why not get rid of this "not my responsibility" attitude and point the finger of blame on the individual. There wouldn't be a cigarette industry if people didn't buy them. Likewise fast food. Cigarettes and fast food save us money by killing people sooner. Would you rather everyone lived to be 100 in a nursing home costing medicare/social security 5000 dollars a month? Yeah, that would be cheaper. Troll.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

mjh49746 (807327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14536014)

Would you rather everyone lived to be 100 in a nursing home costing medicare/social security 5000 dollars a month?

I hear that loud and clear. Too bad it's going to run out in about 40 or some years from now regardless. (Or so they say) So I say that if you've got a qualifying disability, then you may just as well get your money back while you can. Don't wait for it to not get fixed. ;)

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14536067)

Too many double standards. Cigs are legal but weed is not. I can buy 198 proof alchohol but not laudanum. If you actually had your libertarian utopia I might agree with you, but since government is already in the drug approval business it is its responsibility to protect me from people smoking cigs and costing me money and my health when they do it in public places.

If you don't think the tobbaco companies are proactive in creating new customers (kids and teenagers) you are delusional. Especially check out ads in S America and Mexico sometime for the subs. of the big American tobbaco companies. Still got cartoon characters.

People buy fast food because the ingredients that make them are almost all subsidized. Check out how much money is spent on making soybeans into anything but oil, corn into corn syrup or beef into burgers. Your points are brought up in the light that the government has already spoiled the free market, and make little sense.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535690)

Fuck Socialism and the goddamn liberals that support it.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535719)

People would still get heart disease, albeit less. And a better solution than taxing those businesses would be for the government to stop paying for health care entirely. If someone wants to hurt themself with unhealthy food or smoking it's their problem, and no one should pay for it but themselves, not even the company that provides the means. As for second hand smoke, I think smoking should only be allowed on private property, perhaps with a cigarette tax meant to pay for the pollution caused by smoking. And if you want an area in a city devoid of cars, then you should be fully within your rights to buy the property and create a one.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (0, Offtopic)

Erik Hollensbe (808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535835)

Smoking is pretty evil... I've been doing it for years and want to quit. It's not easy.

There are a few things with your argument, though, that you might want to be aware of.

The mere suggestion that smoking is a significant bringer of pollution is not only idiotic, it's turning a blind eye to all the things that everyone relies on that make a much larger impact pollution-wise for the sake of hyping the problems with cigarettes. If we're going to tax cigarettes based on their ability to pollute, let's use it to build a mass-transit system that doesn't require the use of automobiles, as they cause significantly more pollution. Or perhaps, we should shutdown factories that make the materials used in things like... computers. Or paper.

On one hand you argue that smoking is "their problem", yet on the other hand you propose that smokers be cast out with no ability to socialize as they smoke. I still live in one the states where you can actually find a bar to smoke in, and there are plenty of options for smokers and non-smokers alike. If non-smoker Joe wants to come into a smoking bar and then complain about the second hand smoke, someone really needs to educate the man on what things like "freedom of choice" and "free market economics" are. If there's a market for non-smoking bars and restaurants (there is), there are going to be non-smoking bars and restaurants.

Likewise, if you're working in a smoking establishment, that's the risk you take. In fact, the state I live in has a policy that doesn't allow smoking in any establishment *except* these environments. If you can't find another job at equivalent pay to the average bartender or waiter, that shouldn't be my burden as a smoker to bear. After all, strippers aren't complaining that they have to work in bars where they take their clothes off, and have no other options.

I really don't enjoy smoking, at all. However, it is certainly not my job in life to tell others what they can do in their personal time, with like-minded folks, with all the harms laid out on the table. I'd love to see more effort put into educating people (not this "the truth" shock bullshit, real education, with all the facts, good and bad, laid out. Did you know that people who use nicotine are on average higher-functioning than their non-smoker counterparts?) than the government equivalent of a nun smacking the populace on the hand with a ruler.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535901)

To be honest, I know nothing about the pollution caused by smoking which is why I said "perhaps".

And I never said that they shouldn't be allowed to be among other people. A restaurant is private property. A sidewalk in the city generally isn't. A government building isn't. If the person or business that owns property wants to allow smoking in it, they should be able to.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

mjh49746 (807327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535940)

Smoking is pretty evil... I've been doing it for years and want to quit. It's not easy.

No, it's not easy. I can vouch for that. It took me about four or five times to quit myself. A lot of it's I think 'in your head' and how you cope with things, stress, and so forth. I know it's damn near impossible to quit if you're not too happy with your life as it is. But, it does get a bit easier to quit when you take yourself out of bad situations and get yourself a better outlook. Then, all you really have to deal with is just the nicotine withdrawal.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

Erik Hollensbe (808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535996)

My problem, despite good times or bad, has always been about routines.. (I've been trying for several years now) It's almost never about the nicotine cravings, which probably sounds like B.S., but it isn't.

After 10 years or so, you get used to smoking in certain situations - after eating, taking a break from something to think, in the car, around others who are smoking... Those are the times when it's the hardest, and has always been when I've faltered, even with the gum, patch, lozenges, and even snuff (the nasal kind).

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

mjh49746 (807327) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536153)

My problem, despite good times or bad, has always been about routines.. (I've been trying for several years now) It's almost never about the nicotine cravings, which probably sounds like B.S., but it isn't.

I believe you about the routines, as that was part of my problem, too. For me, it was either after dinner, after just stepping outside, after getting nagged at by the ol' ball and chain, being in the bar amongst other smokers, and other situations like that. A lot of things would trigger me to light up, whether I really needed a cigarette or not, and most of it was pretty much automatic. Basically, I'd for the most part just light one up without even thinking about it. Smoking while driving I didn't do much of, but whenever it would be hot and muggy outside, I'd always have a lit smoke in one hand, and a cold pop (or soda) in the other.

To sum it all up, the reason why I ended up quitting back in 2002 was that the State of Michigan raised the cigarette tax yet again for the umpteenth time and I didn't want to pay $3 per pack for even the cheapies. Ended up being a smart thing to do money wise as from what I see these days, they're hovering around $5 a pack now. That's a far, far cry from the $1.50 I used to pay per pack when I first started back when I was 17.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

mjh49746 (807327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535819)

That's why I quit smoking and moved out of the city to begin with. We don't need another bad habits tax. What we need is for people to be responsible for their own actions. You get lung cancer from puffing two packs a day for 30+ years? Too bad. You saw the warning labels everyday for 30+ years, and you chose to ignore them. So, you pay for your own medical care. Don't go 'boo-hoo' to the Gov't and make me pay for it. Sounds fair enough to me, at least.

As for small town living, ymmv but for me it's alright. As long as I can get wireless broadband, that is.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14536109)

My father is 82. He has told me that his mother told him not to smoke because it was bad for you.

I don't mind if people smoke same as I don't mind people doing drugs. I just think that when you are coughing your lungs out with cancer or lying in the street strung out from drugs, the rest of us should not have to pay for your treatment.

People who are willing to rely on the government
to keep them safe are pretty much standing on
Darwin's mat, pounding on the door, screaming,
"Take me, take me!"
        Carl Jacobs

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

mjh49746 (807327) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536251)

My father is not quite 62, and the way he coughs half the time, he's probably got a good case of emphysema by now. Course that's not going to be enough to get him to quit. Some people end up having to get tracheotomies, and then they still smoke afterwards.

Try it in your own country... (0, Offtopic)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535857)

Make people responsible for their own lives. Make people deal with the consequences. But having the government take money from people to then pay it out on their behalf later makes no sense.

Because
1) it just won't be there for them anyway, and
2) people then expect to be taken care of.

That in no way encourages responsibility.

Re:Try it in your own country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535942)

I'm fucking sick of listening to the smoking nazi's. If you don't like smoking, go to a non-smoking bar. I think it's about time there was a fucking huge tax on fast food and all the other processed crap.

I'm sick of people telling me i shouldn't smoke and then getting offended when i say and you shouldn't be eating that pie fattie. The long term health risks of obesity are similar except as a hospital employee i would much rather be moving thin lung cancer patients around than big fat fucking women who need fertility treatment coz their mans dick can't actually get in them!

I don't know why people in the US complain about paying for the public health system. You guys don't even have one in comparison to other countries. Also your medical care costs way more than other developing countries coz you're populated by money grabbing assholes who have pushed up the costs of medical car exponentially. A well funded public health system would address this by forcing the greedy bastards out of "business". It would probably also go a long way to addressing some of the major social inequality issues you have.

Much love

Mutton

Re:Try it in your own country... (2, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536083)

Than why when I walk out of any grocery store, movie theater or college classroom in America will half the time I be confronted with cigarette smoke? It is my responsibility to protect myself but how can I do that, shoot the smoker in self defense?

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536084)

Make cities walkable again, set off a portion of every downtown that people can walk around without the smell of diesel and gasoline in their nostrils on an otherwise fine day.

I think that the other shoe is finally dropping here. Minimalls seem like a great idea, but they aren't exactly nice to look at and contribute a lot to people getting in their car to drive two minutes instead of either walking the whole way or driving to one or two key locations and walking from there. And I think city planners are catching on, not to mention people wanting to cut down on fuel expenses.

I recently saw a news piece about a development plan for some area of Fargo, ND where the idea is to build space for homes, businesses, and parks in an area small enough that you don't need to drive. Why this wasn't done in the first place, I have no idea, but I'm glad it's happening.

Re:Why not stop the root causes? (2, Insightful)

Onuma (947856) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536136)

If people in general were not so stupid, lazy, and irresponsible, we wouldn't have so many fatasses in the states. There would not be nearly as much obesity and therefore Heart Disease would be less prevalent.

If people would walk, bike, run, or skate to their destinations more often we would have less of an obesity problem also. Moderation in everything, including moderation.

Cities DO have areas which are not polluted by car exhaust and other harmful things. Have you ever been to Manhattan? There's a small place called Central Park which can be accessed pretty quickly from just about the entire borough. Even in the areas further from Central Park are smaller parks and recreational areas within the apartment complexes. This is not the only city I have been to with recreational areas. In South Korea there is Seoul, Daegu, Pusan, Chinhae and countless other cities with parks. I have seen all of those as well, and they are nice. I have no doubt that most major cities have areas reserved for just that reason.

I don't get the feeling that I'm being gagged by diesel exhaust unless a bus just drives in front of me while accelerating, no matter which place I'm in. If it were such a big concern, more people would be getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

Public Health costs (3, Interesting)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535622)

Currently people awaiting donors for hearts are assesed on age & how they live & will they benefit a heart.

I know there are a lot of people who live a good life & then suffer heart failure, but there is also a lot of people simply who simply live badly, they drink and smoke too much, eat too much & they don't exercise.

If there was a quick fix to heart problems, how many people would change their lives? Would they improve their quality of living or would they simply just resume their old ways & end up having to have the procedure again at the expense of the public health system.

Im all for ways of improving our chance of living through medicine, but there are a lot of people who bring upon these conditions because of their own lazyness & over-indulgence. Fixing their hearts won't nessesarily make them want to improve other area's of their life which created the heart problem in the beginning.

With medicine getting better & much more serious conditions being able to be fixed a lot easier, what are the social implications of this, humans are lazy, would it help create a society of people less concerned about their health? And what would that cost?

Re:Public Health costs (2, Insightful)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535793)

It might cause an initial increase in hedonism, but once you get your chest cracked open, you're not eager to have it done again!

Re:Public Health costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535817)

here in the US of A we don't just treat anybody. you have to be able to repay somehow some way to get expensive life saving procedures performed. sure, they have to do 'basic' stuff on you or at the least 'send' you to a hospital that will, but if you're too poor to pay for a heart surgeon in the US of A then by gum they're gonan let you die, and then use your kidneys, and liver and whatver else of you they can, because you were a good person and put yourself as an organ doner on your DL. let a poor folk die so several health insured people can live, god bless the USA.

Re:Public Health costs (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535908)

but there are a lot of people who bring upon these conditions because of their own lazyness & over-indulgence. Fixing their hearts won't nessesarily make them want to improve other area's of their life which created the heart problem in the beginning.

You know, you can say that about a lot of diseases. You get lung cancer from smoking. You get liver problems from drinking. People primarily [1] get HIV through doing stupid things that are universally known to be stupid. But yet, we do what we can to treat them. Part of it is selfishness - I'd rather eradicate AIDS than see it mutate into an airborne version, for instance - but the biggest reason is because it's the right thing to do.

The men in my family tend to die of heart attacks, regardless of lifestyle. It's nice to know that if The Big One hits me while eating an oats-and-tofu breakfast after a morning jog, that the doctors might have another tool to keep me from dying. Screw you and your cost analysis.

[1] Yeah, children, transfusions, yada yada yada. Look up "primarily" before attempting to "educate" me.

Re:Public Health costs (1)

chgros (690878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535909)

With medicine getting better & much more serious conditions being able to be fixed a lot easier, what are the social implications of this, humans are lazy, would it help create a society of people less concerned about their health? And what would that cost?
Well, when society can't bear the cost any longer, the problem will take care of itself... And if this never happens, then there isn't a problem.

Re:Public Health costs (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535984)

Stop your bitching. The problem with the health care system is not that people are not living healthy lifestyles, it's doctors, pharmacutical companies, and insurance companies working in unison to squeeze every penny out of our collective asses.

I suggest you read this mostly true story about a drug rep in comic form. [ministry-of-fun.com]

I bet if they stop covering Viagra and buying $20 gallons of orange juice, insurance companies can recover the costs of the occasional extra open heart surgery.

Re:Public Health costs (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536259)

I bet if they stop covering Viagra and buying $20 gallons of orange juice, insurance companies can recover the costs of the occasional extra open heart surgery.

Damn, what I meant to say is:

I'd bet if insurance companies stopped covering Viagra and pharmacutical companies stopped buying $20 gallons of orange juice, we could recover the costs of a few extra open heart surgeries.

Re:Public Health costs (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536162)

Riddle me this, Freaky Spook:

What happens when the Baby Boomers hit 90 and we get genetic medicine right at the same time, extending their lives to 120.

How's Social Security going to hold up?

Why fucking bother? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535653)

Why not let natural selection take its course instead?

GO AHEAD!
FUCKING FLAME AWAY 0R WASTE Y0UR G0D-DAMNED M0D P0INTS FUCKTARDED SHITD0T SHEEPLE!

Re:Why fucking bother? (-1, Offtopic)

mjh49746 (807327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535728)

Good idea. Now go do like what Mr. Hands did and earn yourself a Darwin Award.

Re:Why fucking bother? (1)

Chrismith (911614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535772)

Ah, he's just upset that his "O" key is broken.

Re:Why fucking bother? (1)

mjh49746 (807327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535876)

That's what I get for messing with the threshhold selector. Everytime I do that, I end up ripping on some asshat, and get myself modded down for my trouble. :(

That's what we're doing (2, Insightful)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14536066)

That's what they're doing.

Natural selection, we are enabling our species to maximize its population and survive regardless of obstacles. That way we can benefit from intellectual contributions of everyone (even those who may have a physical problem). Plus, we also want any good genes the person may have (for example, maybe the person has a bad heart, but maybe they also have an awesome improved kidney gene).

In a couple generations we may be able to do gene therapy and eliminate any detrimental genes.

So yes, our curing people of medical conditions is part of nature .. just as natural as the development of language and teamwork ability.

much better than a... (2, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535656)

I'll just stick with my lonely heart, thanks. I've heard that owning one of those is much better than owning a broken one.

Because of the AMA, don't hold your breath... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535678)

waiting on them to allow this procedure to be used.

My daughter was born eleven years ago needing a heart transplant. The four pediatric cardiologists in this state all argued over which of several procedures would be best, but in the end none of them would do a damn thing to help her because the AMA recommended against all of the procedures except a transplant. Legally the doctors could help her, but they were too afraid of the AMA. In the end, we had to do a transplant. That cost $225,000 for just the procedure plus about $45,000 in the following two years before she passed away. The AMA does a great job of screwing people over. They work very hard to make sure that people stay sick for a very long time to maximize the profit of their members. In the end she died of pulmonary edema. Basically she drowned in her own fluids. Again, the doctors wouldn't do what they could to save her. I had to listen to them whine about what the AMA recommends and what the AMA recommends against. In the end, her last stay in the ICU lasted 17 days and not a single doctor would do a thing. They just watched her die.

Without the AMA, we would have been able to find a doctor that would have helped her soon after she was born. I think that if the AMA had allowed her to start-off healthier, while she might not have lived much longer, she would have had a much happier life and been healthier and more active for a time.

Expect the AMA to fight against this with everything they have since it attacks the profit of their wealthiest members.

The big question (1)

dysfunct (940221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535701)

The big question is: can it be used to not only fix scarred tissue but also the issues of chronic heart diseases, for example enlarged hearts? There's many, many people with chronic diseases who urgently need some kind of replacement heart or way to fix them up as soon as possible.

I know somebody who is one of the leading psychologists researching compliance and quality of life pre-op and post-op of heart transplant patients. I also know many patients myself and hope this method will be able to help many of them.

Right now if your heart is "broken" transplantation is often your only chance to survive. The big issue as the article stated is the long time before a fitting heart is available to the patient and many people die on the waiting list. And I'm not talking about days or weeks - it can take some years before you get a new heart and even then it might be rejected by your body and will have to be removed.

Many patients will receive an artificial hart ( essentially a small pump inside of you with tubes leading to a small constantly ticking device outside of your body ). As cool as it might sound to geeks it's not too pleasant having to be near a power outlet all of the time or your heart might run out of battery. And because it's a mechanical device it also damages your blood cells. This is the best working method right now because before artificial hearts people had to endure living with a damaged heart for years, which is a very devastating experience ( imagine being out of breath for minutes because you just stood up from a chair ).

A lot of research has already gone into this and there are already many known possible methods ( for instance genetically modified pig hearts that could be implanted into humans ) any many new to come. What's really needed though is a working replacement for your heart made out of your own stem cells so people won't have rejection issues and have to take immunesuppressives for the rest of their lives making them prone to infections.

By the way, there's noting as satisfying as a 50 year old guy you got to know as a broken man who could hardly talk and being completely exhausted just from sitting showing you his new daughter with his wife who he impregnated shortly after his transplant. He had to wait for a new heart for way over a year and was very close to death but I'd say it was worth it.

For female patients (3, Funny)

RandomGuySteve (889617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535764)

The patch will be made entirely of chocolate ice cream.
The male patch will consist of pornography and alcohol.

True Story (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535776)

I had an old teacher who's had TWO artificial hearts. The first one was your standard pump driven noisemaker.

However, the pump mashes up the blood cells and was giving him anemia.

Soooo... They pulled it out and stuck in a new one. This artificial heart has a turbine in it to push the blood along. He no longer has a pulse, just a blood pressure.

Re:True Story (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536386)

I had an old teacher who's had TWO artificial hearts.

So he's a Time Lord, then?

(Sounds a bit like my grandmother, who after three hip replacements has difficulty walking, but waltzes divinely)

Still no cure for those without significant others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535787)

I never thought science would find a cure for...

Oh. That kind of broken heart.

If you'll excuse me, I have some more crying to do.

wow... (2, Funny)

andy55 (743992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535815)

Wow, what a messed up /. story the day ater I found out that my gf has been cheating on me for months (no joke).

Re:wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14536056)

Ha ha!

No, the cat does not "got my tongue." (1, Troll)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535820)

> Right now, animal trials are just starting and it will
> take at least a decade before human trials begin. But
> when these living bandages are ready for cardiac care,
> they'll have the potential to save millions of lives
> in the world every year.

While I can see engineering taking awhile to develop something useful to humans, keep in mind that every year delayed "proving it" to arrogant government officials kills millions a year. Now explain to me why exactly they are a friend to humanity again?

One good cure for something like this, that's delayed a few years, delayed because of FDA-type bureaucracy will slaugter more people than all those the FDA "protects", even allowing for the wildest, slobbering socialist evils-of-corporations fantasies put together over the last 5 decades .

But it feels good, I guess, so that isn't actually happening. Couldn't be.

Re:No, the cat does not "got my tongue." (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535945)

While I can see engineering taking awhile to develop something useful to humans, keep in mind that every year delayed "proving it" to arrogant government officials kills millions a year. Now explain to me why exactly they are a friend to humanity again?

You don't catch the non-nerd news much, do you? Even drugs that are tested a lot, but which have some mixed results, end up being not perfect for at least a few people, someone (who is already very sick in some other way) ends up dying while using the product, and then the maker of the product gets sued for millions of dollars. Take for example the recent crop of very effective arthritis/pain meds that have been taken off the market because (possibly) some people may have cardio/pulminary problems using them. So, millions of people who would benefit tremendously from the drugs don't get to use them because people with sensitive hearts or blood pressure problems are taking it without checking in with their doctors, and die (making their families into millionaires on the way out).

One good cure for something like this, that's delayed a few years, delayed because of FDA-type bureaucracy will slaugter more people than all those the FDA "protects"

Please make the distinction between "killing" and "not saving some of a large group of people, all of whom are certainly going to die otherwise." Not being sure that you can save people, and avoiding having a drug sued out of marketability is not the same as "killing" people. You want to blame somebody? Blame trial lawyers. Or encourage legislation that would allow people to sign a waiver when they use a new drug/device/therapy. That waiver would let them use it early and absolve the maker from getting sued into oblivion when it isn't miraculous for everyone, all the time.

even allowing for the wildest, slobbering socialist evils-of-corporations fantasies put together over the last 5 decades

On that, you're (sort of) right... plenty of things kill people all the time, and it's mostly things people do to themselves. Eeeevil influences in the form of socialist-wacko-nightmare Boogeymen are a pale shadow compared to all of the fun forms of self-destructive behavior that people engage in every day.

Re:No, the cat does not "got my tongue." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535988)

It's posts like these that make me wish there was a "lunatic" or "incompetent" mod. Why yes, let's let every medical treatment go straight to hospitals without rigorous testing. What could possibly go wrong?

Much More Complex Than Growing Meat (2, Interesting)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535844)

Recently there has been a spate of stories about growing meat for human consumption. In growing meat for consumption there is a need for the tissue to be stretched to provide the 'exercise' for the growing muscles. [bbc.co.uk] Presently the cost to manufacture a single burger would run into the millions of dollars.

Growing heart tissue would be much more demanding requring "exercising" the muscle, plus as the article pointed out there are problems of tissue acceptance, adhesion and syncing the pulse of the muscle patch to the existing heart tissue. Given these hurtles it looks like this technology has many hurtles to jump.

Pursuing an interest in Dictyostelium amoebae [dictybase.org] provides an starting point to studying chemotaxis and cellular communication.

For the Bee Gees (1)

writermike (57327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535870)

Apparently, they'll finally have an answer to their long-unanswered question, "How can you mend a broken heart."

Emo Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14535877)

Quick, someone had better tell them there is hope.

try.. (2, Funny)

pkplex (535744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535880)

atp-get dist-upgrade. Upgrades all the other body parts too.

Hole in the heart (1)

Gyga (873992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535899)

Can't they aready patch hearts?

My brother like most people with down syndrome was born with a hole in his heart, the doctors used some wierd material to patch it, they seemed quite good at it scince the doctor had also done a girl born with down syndrome a few hours earlier.

Re:Hole in the heart (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536299)

The difference is that with Down's syndrome, although there is a hole (usually between the chambers), the heart is otherwise a fully functional muscle. Repair is a matter of staunching the leak with a material flexible and durable enough.

In heart attacks a portion of the muscle dies (ironically, because of impeded blood flow) and cannot be repaired using current techniques since it would involve wholesale replacement of the affected region to restore full function.

By way of analogy: a steel plate will fix a skull fracture, but isn't much use if half your head is missing. Same principle.

Exciting! Holy cow, I want this! (4, Interesting)

Trifthen (40989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535923)

This really strikes me as an exciting breakthrough. I had heart surgery back in 1984 to repair a hole between my ventricles that drastically increased the viability of my life. Aside from having my ribs stapled together, I have a Dacron (a type of polyester) patch in my heart because the hole was too large to simply sew shut. Aside from basically being in good health since then, I'm always afraid that the growth of my heart in the intervening years is unduly stressing the patch; I was only seven when I underwent the surgery. I've always wondered if I could have my heart repaired properly; what it would mean to my energy levels, strength and peace of mind.

The real question is, could they grow a proper heart or replacement pieces from my genes at all? I had six major life-threatening heart defects that were mostly corrected, but there's always that lingering feeling that things could be better. If not for the surgery, I'm sure I'd be dead by now. Hell, I almost didn't make it past two months. Would something like this work for me? Would it be worth going back in there to complete the repairs?

Who knows. But I have to say this is definitely a thought-provoking piece of information. Unlike people who undergo heart-surgery in their later years, I never had a fully functional heart. Ah, the possibilities!

For those keeping score, this should sate your curiosity:

1. Faulty aortal valve: mostly corrected, slight murmur remains
2. Transposed position (It leans right instead of left): uncorrected
3. Half expected size: repairs later encouraged growth
4. Unknown muscle-tissue grown over heart: removed
5. Large hole between ventricles: covered with Dacron patch
6. Two small holes between atria: sewn shut

I'm holding out for... (1)

melted (227442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14535947)

I'm holding out for weight management service pack.

Finally! (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14536019)

We have an answer to the question posed by the Bee Gees years ago.

(Seriously... this is great news. I hope it works.)

Great news! Another double Quarter-Pounder, please (2, Funny)

koelpien (639319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14536035)

Great news! Another double Quarter-Pounder, please. Extra cheese and bacon.

A few issues to address still (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536076)

This is a very good idea and autografts (tissue grafts made from the patients' own cells) have been used to replace skin on burn patients for some time. However, I see a few issues that need to be addressed:

1. Proper muscle function. If the cardiac patch grows and replaces the dead tissue, it will not do much good if the muscle doesn't contract and pump blood like real tissue does.

2. Scarring. The heart would have a large amount of scarring from where the ischemic tissue was removed. Also, the graft would need to integrate into the cardiac muscle around it and that results in scarring also. The scarring could impair proper functioning.

3. Integration time and materials strength. The graft would need to be implanted into the heart and it must not leak or come loose from the first minute the heart is re-started. Sutures would likely not be enough to keep the heart from leaking blood around the graft and leading to congestive heart failure. Maybe a mesh patch material as they use for artificial blood vessels would need to be used to provide a seal to keep the heart from leaking blood AND as a framework to allow tissue integration. But those have their own problems...

Once those issues get solved, I think the rest is smooth sailing. It will be very difficult to solve, but I am convinced that the world's biomedical engineers will find a solution.

Stem Cell Library (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14536113)

Or, consider harvesting and preserving stem cells in a personal cell library so in the future if the need arises, somethign can be grown in years preparation to solve an anticipated degeneration, expensive however; but not out of reach.

Every ten years is actually only seven and a half (1)

Nutty_Irishman (729030) | more than 7 years ago | (#14536420)

I recently attended a talk about longetivity of humanity-- in particular about finding logetivity genes. One of the figures that was presented was on the average lifespan given per year. Since the late 1800's or so, every 10 years, the average lifespan increases by 2 1/2 years. It's a linear relationship that hasn't shown signs of slowing.

Not as impressive as the doubling of chip speeds, but when you think about it, the average person born today is going to live about 20 years longer than the people that were dying when they was born.

Some of these breakthroughs have been in the prevention of late term deaths, etc (I think the majority has been in lowering infant mortality). One of the problems I see is that we are living longer, but our metabolic rates are still at the same rate. The longer lifespan is starting to push back the age of marriage, and children. Unfortunately, our biological clocks are still set for a 25 and younger childbirth. While increasing the average lifespan is great, I think we need to actually start focusing on improving the quality of life before we end up with 1/2 our population in wheel chairs and wearing diapers far beyond their time because medicine is keeping them alive.
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