Human kidneys grown in rats
With more than 123,000 people in the United States currently waiting for an organ transplant and 21 people dying each day while waiting for one, a new privately funded study has shown promise in tackling the organ donor shortage.
Researchers have developed a way to grow kidneys taken from aborted human fetuses by implanting the organs in rats. The long-term goal of this research, the study co-author, Eugene Gu says, is “to grow human organs in animals, to end the human donor shortage”. Researchers obtained donated fetal tissues and transplanted the fetal kidneys into adult rats and connected the animals’ blood vessels to the organs that involved tiny stitching. What made this research successful compared to previous failed attempts was adjusting the blood pressure to match the transplanted organ. The blood pressure of rats is three times higher than in human fetuses. Rats with transplanted kidneys survived around four months after transplant, with one surviving for 10 months.
Ethical issues are being raised with this new research and not just the ones related to the use of organs from aborted fetuses. Some of these organs may in the future be grown in larger animals like pigs and that raises the question of how comfortable people would be with receiving them.
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Sourced from: LiveScience, Growing Human Kidneys in Rats Sparks Ethical Debate
Published On: Jan 21, 2015
Glass of wine a day may protect against heart failure
Here’s why you might want to consider going to Happy Hour today. One alcoholic drink a day may protect you from heart failure.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed 14,629 participants between the ages of 45 and 64. The participants were recruited between 1987 and 1989 and were followed for around 25 years. Participants were interviewed on their drinking habits at the start of the study, with follow-up interviews every three years. One drink was defined as a beverage containing 14 g of alcohol, equal to about a glass of wine. They were divided into several categories: abstainers (people who stated they had drunk no alcohol at every interview), former drinkers, people who drank up to seven drinks a week, people who drank up to seven to 14 drinks a week, people who drank 14 to 21 drinks a week, and people who drank 21 or more drinks a week.
Researchers found that men who drank seven drinks a week had a 20 percent lower risk of developing heart failure when compared to abstainers, and women had a 16 percent lower risk when consuming the same amount. The study provided more evidence that drinking alcohol in moderation may be protective to your overall heart health.
Sourced from: Medical News Today , One alcoholic drink a day may protect against heart failure
Published On: Jan 21, 2015