This Living Human Bone Was Grown In Lab

Illustration for article titled This Living Human Bone Was Grown In Lab

Scientists have grown real, living human bones in the lab for the first time, completely from scratch, and ready to be inserted inside human flesh. Or given to my dog, as a delicious treat.

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Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic—Columbia University professor of biomedical engineering—achieved the feat for the first time using stem cells and molds generated from three-dimensional scans. They are still testing them with animals, but theoretically this means that doctors would be able to replace any bone—no matter how small and intricate—within a decade.

The implications are huge, especially as the population keeps getting older across the globe. Built-to-order bones are organisms will extend human lives even further and, more importantly, reduce diseases dramatically. [New York Times]

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DISCUSSION

Just because we can,

doesn't mean we should.

Human life span is approx. 650,000 hours, or, 74.2 years.

Thats just an average, mind you.

But, look at people who are 100, 105 or 110.

Sure, new bones may extend their life a little, but something else will kill them shortly.

And, for the vast majority of people over 100, the quality of their life isn't all that great. They are limited by their other bodily parts reaching the end of their useful life.

This will be great for certain medial ailments, it will not be that useful in extending the natural life very much.