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Lab-Grown Bladder Transplanted 73

JaJ_D writes "The BBC is reporting a story about the successful transplant of a lab grown bladder into a patient. From the article: 'US scientists have successfully implanted bladders grown in the lab from patients' own cells into people with bladder disease ... They took a bladder biopsy from each patient and isolated muscle cells and special bladder cells called urothelial cells, which they grew in the lab. The cells were then placed onto a specially designed bladder-shaped scaffold and left to grow for seven to eight weeks.'"
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Lab-Grown Bladder Transplanted

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  • Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

    by FrontalLobe ( 897758 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:31AM (#15058342)
    Can I get a bigger one?!

    *runs to the bathroom*
    • Wow - maybe I could go a whole 12 pack before breaking the seal...
  • by DorkusMasterus ( 931246 ) <> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:33AM (#15058369) Homepage
    We've been hearing forever about the possibility and marvel of lab-grown organs for transplants. It's good to see actual results from one.

    However, the true test will now be seeing if the patient rejects the new organ, or if the organ functions as long as a healthy new organ would behave. Either way, even if just comparable to standard transplants, this is an amazing step forward. But can you imagine the possibilities if the organ lasts as long as a freshly made natural organ? Lifespans would shoot upward, and terminal organ diseases would disappear quickly. Good to see we're headed that way.
    • by lbmouse ( 473316 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:45AM (#15058486) Homepage
      "...the true test will now be seeing if the patient rejects the new organ..."

      The article states that they are using the patient's own cells. IANAD but it would seem that the rejection rate would be about nil.

      My step-father is right now in the hospital recovering from surgery to re-construct his bladder after having it removed because of cancer. This is a major break-through that will hopefully help millions of people.
      • I heard a story about this on NPR. Although this article didn't make it clear, I believe NPR explained [] that the surgeries were performed when the patients were young children, and they are in their teens now.

      • The article also said that they followed their progress for five years... Would their bodies not have rejected them by now?

        The researchers surgically attached the engineered bladder to the patient's own bladder and followed progress for up to five years.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Since they've been grown from the patients own cells, unless they've been treated to reset the cellular clock (with teleomerase or some such thing,) the new organ will still have the same cellular age as the patient. It might not have the current ravages of disease as the old organ but it will still be the same age.

      Something like what happened to Dolly the sheep but it will happen to the organ.
    • I can imagine rejection wouldn't be much of an issue - it's the patient's own cells. I think it's more an issue of functionality, i.e. how well such an organ will work relative to the original.

      This is great stuff. Great stuff.

      What would also be interesting is the cottage industries that arise. When my kid is born, am I going to take a bunch of his stem cells and place them in a bank for and future unforseen circumstances? Is he going to surrender cells during physicals so organs can be grown for him on cue.
    • What about organ damage caused by viral infections? Bacterial infections could be combatted, but certainly the new organ would be reinfected and suffer the damage over again?
      • What about organ damage caused by viral infections?

        Good question. I assume it would be a matter of finding non-infected cells to replicate. If methods could show differences in viral (or cancerous) cells vs normal healthy cells to use for the process.
    • A very worrying thought .. if you ask me..

      But good thing is, it will accessible for a select few only
      So no danger for mankind.

      We need new ideas, for that we have to have as add and purge mechanism.
      When the purge stopps, constipation will encompass society

      And it is never a good thing.
    • From TFA:

      "The researchers, from North Carolina's Wake Forest University, have carried out seven transplants, and in some the organ is working well years later."

      It appears that "some" of the patients bodies have accepted the organ and seem to be doing well years after the transplant. Of course, some could be two, and the other five could have turned inside out.
    • The image from a few years ago of a human-esk ear growing on the back of a rat comes to mind....

      We've come a *long* way.

      This bladder trans seems to be one of the best projects I've seen. Next, I guess we'll be on to the kidneys!?!~`1
    • They'll put a stop to this real quick just as soon as gay men have a tissue-compatible uterus lab-grown and implanted. Trust me.
      (they=thems thats in charge)
    • The patient cannot reject the new organ, as it is grown from their own cells. Question is whether a real organ is the same as a bunch of cells grown in a bowl shaped like the real organ. Wouldn't the pipes etc be heading the wrong way? What if the 'in' and 'out' pipes grew in the opposite side?!
  • A wonderful step. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:47AM (#15058501) Journal
    Today, it's possible to replace noses, ears, and bladders. Someday it will be hearts, major blood vessels, livers, and lungs.

    If you know any medical researchers, biologists, surgeons, or anyone else who works in the medical field today, drop them a note and thank them. They're making a better world.

    • I'm waiting until they can grow a replacement brain. I think one could really help my wife.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I'm waiting until they can grow a replacement brain. I think one could really help me.
        There, I fixed your mistake.

        Your Wife
      • by blueZ3 ( 744446 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:22PM (#15058857) Homepage
        who married a girl smarter than me?

        My wife was a math major and all-around genius (prefect grades on every assignment in every class), and has been a teacher and librarian. She keeps our financial books in order (thank goodness) and has excellent insight into big financial decisions; when we've followed her preferred course of action, we've always done well, I'm batting about 80%. She's not a gadget freak like me, but she definitely knows more about Word and Excel than I do. The computer is more of a tool than a hobby in her case, but she is very on top of the tools that she does use.

        For those on Slashdot who aren't married, my advice is to find a woman who is at least as smart as you are. If you can find a girl who has more knowledge than you in particular areas (like my wife with math) you'll be doing well. It's cool to have a relationship where your areas of interest overlap, but it's really cool when your different expertise allows you to learn from each other.

        And make sure she never reads /. if you're going to mock her :o)
        • Maybe he meant a replacement brain for him. That might certainly help his wife, if she's tired of doing all the thinking in the relatioinship.

        • Oh yeah, that's on my list "Find and marry a female super genius."

          I'd love to marry a smart girl, but frankly they've been absolute bitches or completely uninterested in any male or female companionship.
          • "I'd love to marry a smart girl, but frankly they've been absolute bitches or completely uninterested in any male or female companionship." The only common element to all your problems... is you.

            • Really? So, I meet a really smart girl who doesn't have a BF or a GF, isn't interested in getting a BF or a GF, and your conclusion is that I'm the problem?

              I bet that attitude gets you all sorts of chicks:

              Girl "I'm not happy about us."
              You "Damn! You're messed up! What's your problem?"
        • my advice is to find a woman who is at least as smart as you are

          I'm trying like mad, but they're all smart enough to stay the hell away :)

      • No need to grow a new one, I happen to have a spare brain from a Ms. Abby Normal that I can send you for a nominal fee.
    • I just sent a note to my favorite, Dr. Frankenstein. I'm encouraging him in his latest project to engineer full body clones with minimalist small mammal brain grown in rather than the original human brain. I really can't wait until I can buy a pet girl that looks like a beautiful but that doesn't expect anything from me other than feeding and a bed to sleep in. Dating will be made so much simpler thanks to genetic science!

      Okay.. maybe I'm the only one that sufferes from that strange fantasy. ;)
  • by merc ( 115854 ) <> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @11:57AM (#15058599) Homepage
    It would be nice to drink that beer without worrying about my liver -- I guess that's why God gave us two of them.
  • by gnovos ( 447128 ) <gnovos.chipped@net> on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @12:19PM (#15058832) Homepage Journal
    It will be a matter of very very little time, once this bladder has shown to be functional, before one of the scientists who worked on this says to himself, hey, why not make a boob shaped scaffold, implant breast cells, and make a NATURAL breast implant that will NOT have any of the complicatons of silicone (Breastfeeding will still be possible, natual shape, size and feel, indistinguishable, basically, from the real thing), and thus finds himself a billionaire surrounded by huge breasted yet rail-thin women.
  • I just regret the type of email I'm going to get from those companies that want me to enlarge things: "Be any size you want. Get a divorce from that haggy messed up *itch because you're too big for her!" or "Kill him by smothering - make them so large you've got a legal alibi".

  • I have one of the "older" artificial bladders made from intestine. Mine was installed in 1988 when I was 13. This would have made my life SOOO much easier than what I deal with now. GO SCIENCE
  • They are using my bladder-shaped scaffold patent without my permission. Anyone got the number of the guy who headed the "one-click ordering" patent team? He's my boy...
  • Is it just me, or is this article summary just written as an excuse to use the word "bladder" as may times as possible?
  • The cells were then placed onto a specially designed bladder-shaped scaffold and left to grow for seven to eight weeks.

    How long until this hits the elective surgery market?

    "Bored with your old bladder-shaped bladder? Take your pick from our line of bladders shaped like stars, moons, clovers, diamonds.. or profess your fandom with a licensed Mickey-Mouse-shaped excretory organ! (c)Disney
  • by balaam's ass ( 678743 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2006 @04:37PM (#15061279) Journal
    This development has been a long time coming...

    "Bladder late than never."
  • Sheep bladders may now be employed to prevent earthquakes.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith