Science and Tech
Strange, Scary, and Spectacular - Can You Guess What These Science Pics Are?

Marshall Lemon | 24 Jun 2015 13:55
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One of the coolest and most immediate sci-fi concepts was depicted in Deus Ex: Human Revolution - the ability to replace human body parts with cybernetics. It's pretty cool and all, but when you think about it most people would probably just want something closer to their original organic limb back. But it's not like you can build limbs as easy as machinery right?

Of course not. But you can grow them in a petri dish.

The technique is called decel/recel, and has already been used to grow organs like hearts, lungs, and kidneys. It involves taking an organ or limb and decelluarizing it until only a "scaffold" remains. New cells are then added to what's left and nourished until until they grow into a new organ that's easily attached to a new host.

That said, limbs and hands tend to be more complex than internal organs thanks to their various tissues and nerves. That's why scientists are starting with animal limbs - in this case for a rat - to see if the process can work effectively. It will still be years before we're ready for human trials, but in terms of pure limb regeneration, we're already seeing impressive results.

Don't worry: If you're hoping for that Deus Ex future, I'm sure we can still stick blades in that arm for you.

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