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Organ Creation and Harvesting: Reality Imitating Art

18 Jul

Back in 1998, Robin Cook released CHROMOSOME 6, a medical thriller that touched on organ creation and harvesting. A very interesting concept at the time. Seems that now such fiction is approaching reality as a group of Japanese scientists are working on a system for creating “chimeric embryos” within animal wombs. The hope is that this will provide organs for human transplants. In medicine, a chimera is an organism, human or animal, that has two or more genetically distinct cell lines.

 

Chrom6

 

Reality imitating art? This will no doubt be interesting and controversial as it moves forward.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 18, 2013 in DNA, Medical Issues

 

5 responses to “Organ Creation and Harvesting: Reality Imitating Art

  1. dorothyanneb

    July 18, 2013 at 4:17 am

    Wow! Fascinating. Initial horror at the thought passed when I read the linked article – wouldn’t it be great if we could transplant pancreases, livers, neural tissue?
    And then I think of Monsanto, and the horror returns.
    It’s like what they say about a lot of things – just because we can doesn’t mean we should…we outstrip ethics at every turn.

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  2. Cheryl B. Dale

    July 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Certainly brings up a lot of ethical questions. But if we can grow needed organs rather than having to hope someone dies, it poses an interesting problem.

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  3. Frank Karl

    July 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Growing organs alarms you? What about the opposite, anti-rejection drugs make transplants common, routine. Where do we get the organs from?

    See Larry Niven’s Collected Tales of Gil Hamilton in the collection Flatlander and then read Gift from Earth. Both portray societies when it is possible to extend your life quite sometime with unlimited transplants, but the supply is limited. What do you think the laws and social mores would look like.

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    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      July 19, 2013 at 8:56 am

      No, it doesn’t alarm me at all. It’s needed in a world where donors are scarce and so time sensitive. Often a logistical nightmare.
      But I’m sure it will bring with it a host ethical discussions.

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      • Frank Karl

        July 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

        I agree with you. I should have posted under dorothyanneb.

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