Recorded on January 18, 2013.
I’ll Be Around
The Point of It
Before We Run
Host: Kevin Cole / Audio Engineer: Kevin Suggs / Cameras: Jim Beckmann, Shelly Corbett & Justin Wilmore / Editor: Scott Holpainen
Agence France-Presse reports that scientists have a new technique to supercool organs — specifically, rat livers — leading to hope that we can someday preserve organs for far longer. via Raw Story:
The method involves cooling the livers while flushing them with oxygen and nutrients and preserving them in a solution containing a form of antifreeze. The livers can be conserved at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) yet not freeze and thus suffer cell damage.
All rats given livers ‘supercooled’ for three days (72 hours) were healthy after three months, a benchmark for survival. Of those who received livers stored for 96 hours, 58 percent survived to the three-month mark, said study results published in the journal Nature Medicine. Rats that received transplant livers preserved with current methods survived only for hours or days.
‘To our knowledge, this is the longest preservation time with subsequent successful transplantation achieved to date,’ said study co-author Korkut Uygun of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Engineering in Medicine. ‘If we can do this with human organs, we could share organs globally, helping to alleviate the worldwide organ shortage.’
Existing technology can preserve human livers well for up to about 12 hours outside the body.
Thanks to Eric W. Dolan for the link.
Bonus: “The Books of Orange Is the New Black” from Vulture, who have some excellent analysis of the show.
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