Plot spoiler warning: Not needed here, as the method in my science techno-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, takes a very different approach to human-life extension (or “life-renewal”) than mentioned in what’s to come.
“Xenotransplantation” (an experimental technology which we do not use in A Remedy for Death) involves transplanting animal cells or even whole organs into humans to replace what isn’t working. According to this article in more than 200 pig to human xenotransplantations been performed in Russia, New Zealand and other countries. Not in Japan yet, and not clear on the United States.
To clarify, in most of those experiments the organs (or stem cells, etc.) have earlier been implanted in the carrier animal, so what comes across is –for example–a liver grown in the animal, but a liver made from human cells.
We have in fact covered multiple related issues in this blog, among them those you’ll see at the bottom of this page. (At the moment I’m having trouble inserting links here today–so much for the limitations of technology!)
In any case, this new article ( http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004283766 ) refers to work on growing special pigs for the specific purpose of serving as bearers for growing organs for transplantation to humans, using especially clean environments (even as the fetuses are removed from the uterus of a mother pig), and special checking for viruses that might be carried harmlessly in the small pig but be dangerous to humans.
As my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, is set in areas including anti-aging methods, bio-engineering, radical life extension, the quest for human immortality,organ regeneration and organ fabrication, regenerative medicine, reversing aging, the quest for eternal youth, and transhumanism, I keep an eye out for articles on these and related topics.
Here are a few of the more intriguing. Normally, I’d like to comment on them and put them into perspective, but the list has grown too quickly recently.
Tech titans’ latest: Project Defy Death. Washington Post, page 1 above the fold, April 5, 2015;
Continue reading A REMEDY FOR DEATH: articles on radical life extension, reversing aging, the quest for human immortality, and regenerative medicine
My bio-science techno-thriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH, focuses on a group of super-rich trying to re-create themselves in “healthy, horny 21-year-old bodies with all our accumulated savvy from this lifetime”.
Seems far out?
Not so, as hardly a week goes by without elements of just-that being announced by science labs around the world.
The photo here comes from the article in the professional journal Circulation Research, where you can read more http://circres.ahajournals.org/content/118/1/56
(The portrait of Mr. Pig comes from that article.)
It’s a variation of a question that I raise early-on in my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH. In REMEDY, a researcher tries to implant brain cells from a human fetus into a young chimp. (Not a plot-spoiler: that is only a small part of the story,)
Want to read a FREE 100 page sampler of A REMEDY FOR DEATH?
In the Aeon article, the focus is on the pigs that may be used to grow replacement human organs:
Continue reading “Should a human-pig chimera be treated as a person?”–question raised in Aeon
Intriguing article in MIT Technology Review, “Transplant surgeons revive hearts after death.”
These days, we’re familiar with heart transplants from brain-dead patients into others needing a new, healthy heart.
But in a new experimental breakthrough, successes have been achieved in transplanting the hearts of those not brain dead. Yes, there are procedural and ethical issues involved.
Mind you, this involves actual human hearts, not 3-D printed replacements, or bits of heart tissue grown in labs from human stem cells.
But the possibility raises some issues of medical ethics to be explored: if the donor is not brain dead, when and by what criteria can the heart be removed?
Rather than dig in deeply here, I’ll refer you to the article itself. You’ll see a “reanimated” donated heart actually beating outside the bodies of both donor and recipient. Here’s the link.