Blow Your Mind: Do-It-Yourself Organs

BY Robert Lamb / POSTED June 21, 2011
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I grew up loving haunted houses and mad science laboratories, so I’m not sure I can fully express out INTO the idea of vat-grown organs I really am. It’s pretty much the most mad sciencey thing imaginable, short of actually creating a monster or sewing Ray Milland’s head onto Rosey Grier’s body. And on a realistic note, sure, we’d all like to grow our crops of spare guts to replace our failing organs. But when will it be possible? As Julie and I explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, the day is fast approaching.

With the aid of stem cells and organ scaffolding, we’re now able to grow living tissue and organs outside the human body and transplant them into place. Just how does this work? What do an easy-bake oven and an inkjet printer have to do with it? How many teeth can you grow inside a mouse and why would you want to?

All this and more will be explored.

But what’s that? You want to see the video we mention in which a man prints out a human heart? Here ya go:

So there you have it! You can find the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast on iTunes, Zune and the RSS feed. And don’t forget the free HowStuffWorks App!

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