WSJ story on latest in a series of “groundbreaking experiments in the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine,” involving the creation in a lab of lungs for a rat (and I mean a real rat and not some Wall Street banker!).
Described as a “small but tantalizing step,” you have to think that doing this for a rat can’t be all that different than for a human—scale yes, but complexity not so much. When transplanted into the rates, the lungs exchanged oxygen for CO2 just like they’re supposed to do.
Other labs have already done livers and hearts, to varying degrees of success.
Right now over 100k Americans are on waiting lists for organ transplants (kidneys #1, then livers, then lungs).
To me, this is the most crucial part of life-extending technologies—not so much the super-extension of a few but the rescuing of a lot of people cut down in the primes and thus allowed to live far longer lives than they otherwise would have been able to.