Scientists at the University of Minnesota have created a beating rat heart in a laboratory.
Experts called it "a landmark achievement" and "a stunning" advance. But they caution that the dream of growing new human hearts, if it is ever realised, is still at least 10 years away.
"Well, well, well. If it isn't ollllllllllllllld rat heart"
Doris Taylor, head of the team that created the rat heart, said that she followed a guiding principle of her laboratory: "Give nature the tools and get out of the way." Funny, I have a wood carved placard in my bathroom that says the same thing.
The researchers removed all the cells from a dead rat heart, leaving the valves and outer structure as scaffolding for new heart cells injected from newborn rats.
Within two weeks the new cells formed a new beating heart that conducted electrical impulses and pumped a small amount of blood. Awwww, little rat heart!
With modifications, scientists should be able to grow a new human heart by taking stem cells from a patient's bone marrow and placing them in a cadaver heart that has been prepared as a scaffold.
Doris says, "the early success opens the door to this notion that you can make any organ: kidney, liver, lung, pancreas - you name it and we hope we can make it."
Sweet, yo, lemme get something?