GALVESTON, TEXAS – Breathe in… Breathe out. And get ready for some science fiction to come true. Scientists at UTMB in Galveston have successfully grown human lungs in a lab.
“We’ve produced a tissue-engineered lung” – said Joan Nichols, PhD, UTMB research team leader -, “not just one: we’ve done it a couple of times. And human lung.”
This is a significant leap forward in medical research that could some day help those in need of an organ transplant. Can you believe it? It’s like magic or something.
“We took one lung” – added Dr. Nichols -. “We took all the cells out of it. We have a process that let us do that. And then all we left behind was the skeleton of a lung.”
Scientists say they will be ready to implant lungs in animals in a year or so; but it will take longer to start dealing with humans… You know: we’re more picky.
“But the fact that we’ve grown a couple of human lungs is amazing and it’s a big breakthrough” – emphasized the researcher -. “So pretty much this is probably not gonna be something that I’ll see in my research time.”
Members of the medical community in Houston and around the globe celebrate the news:
“This technology and these breakthroughs offer great hope for those patients who have to have a lung transplant and even patients whose disease is very severe but they may be not a candidate to get new lungs in the form of a lung transplant” – said Dr. James P. Herlihy MD, from Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Consultants.
So good job, doctors! At this rate, the day will come when medicine will just become another app.