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Growing New Body Parts

 article about medicine

This article belongs to Technology (in 50 years) theme.


Future Technology: Grow Your Own Body Parts.

Within the next twenty or so years it may be possible for people to re-grow a lost body part. Some species retrain that ability throughout life. Humans do not.
Transplant surgery is wonderful, but there are always the problems of finding a good cell match or dealing with tissue rejection.

Regeneration, in contrast to transplantation, depends on your own body cells having an ability to reproduce themselves and to reproduce that part of the body to which they belong.

As the human fetus develops over nine months, tissue growth depends on a genetic code contained in each cell, a program that guides the development of organs and limbs. Some scientists argue that the basic code for development does not go away, it just gets switch off as each task in completed.

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Regeneration, in contrast to transplantation, depends on your own body cells having an ability to reproduce themselves ...
The new field of regenerative medicine aims to switch the guiding program for cell growth back on in order to re-activating limb and organ growth. It is in its earliest stages, but scientists can claim some success already.

First among those interested in regeneration of lost body parts, of course, would be wounded soldiers and victims of war who have lost limbs, eyes, or other parts.
One man claims to have re-grown a fingertip, complete with fingernail, after being injured by a model airplane propeller. See the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxhi4Q8EDTU.

Regenerative medicine could be a very significant trend for investors, too. How to get in on it? Tengion is a privately held company that is leading in research on the growth of body parts. From the Tengion web site:

"Tengion, Inc. provides human tissues and organs, such as bladders that are derived from a patient's own cells. It primarily focuses on genitourinary and cardiovascular fields. The company also develops autologous urinary neo-bladder technology for adult indications. The company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania with an additional office..." See more at: http://www.tengion.com/.

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The new field of regenerative medicine aims to switch the guiding program for cell growth back on in order to re-activating limb and organ growth.
Although Tengion is privately owned, I found one company that is invested in Tengion: Safeguard Scientific (stock symbol SFE). There is a great deal of info about Safeguard on its web site. To see its press releases, click on the "press" button at http://www.safeguard.com/. Of course, I am not recommending the purchase of any stock. I'm just investigated on my own.

The science of regenerative medicine may be a wave of the future holding out the possibility that patients might someday be able to grow a new kidney, heart, or lung. Burn victims might be able to grow new skin to cover a burn area without scarring.

One thing we know for certain; the future of medicine offers great hope for what, in the past, could only be called miracle cures.

(Julian I. Taber, Ph.D. is author of Addictions Anonymous: Outgrowing Addiction with a Universal, Secular Program of Self-Development.
ISBN 978-1-60145-647-2. To view the Table of Contents, sample chapters, or to order, go to: http://www.booklocker.com/books/3717.html.)




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