THIS GUY BASICALLY ACTUALLY GROWS ORGANS

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Entertainment Editor
01.25.10

Every 30 seconds, a patient dies from diseases that could be treated with tissue replacement.  Anthony Atala, M.D., Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, gave a TED talk on their research into growing replacement body parts in their lab.  The first successful human transplant of lab-engineered tissue was done in 1996, when they patched a torn urethra.  Now, they can build an entire bladder onto a scaffold then transplant it (picture above).  They use a patient’s own cells, so there’s no need to take expensive anti-rejection drugs for the rest of your life. (How expensive?  Well, last time I dispensed Cellcept the total price was ~$600 for a one-month supply, and our cost was probably $599.43, because drugstores make all their money selling you greeting cards, batteries, and cosmetics.  True story.  Buy a card or GTFO.)

You can view the video below for an overview on what they’ve built and successfully transplanted so far.  Here’s a fun drinking game: do a shot every time he says “actually” or “basically”, then hope they get those new bioengineered livers ready soon.

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When not writing for Uproxx, Caleb likes to volunteer at the legless cat shelter and photoshop the Babadook into all of his family photos. He once resolved the question “To be or not to be?” through the clever use of General Semantics. Your mom thinks you could be more like him if you only applied yourself.

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