Animal Organs Can Save Lives?

Researchers at the University of Minnesota seeking new treatments for heart disease have grown a beating rat heart in the lab by using stem cells. VOA's Jessica Berman reports the research reported by the journal Nature Medicine is laying the groundwork for the transplant of what the scientists are calling bio-artificial organs in humans.

Experts say there are an estimated 100 million people around the world whose hearts do not work well enough to pump blood through their bodies. Many heart patients in need of a transplant will die waiting for a new organ to become available. But the researchers say if human hearts can be made from animal organs, they could save lives.

In their experiments, researchers removed the hearts of newborn lab rats and stripped them of their cells in a process called organ decellularization.

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