The Battle Against Aging/Spare Parts for Vital Organs; The Quest to Beat Aging; Scientific American Presents; by David Pescovitz; 6 Page(s)
Atherosclerosis, diabetes, cirrhosis, hepatitis and other afflictions kill or disable millions of people every year by ravaging their organs over time. The elderly suffer the greatest toll. Bioartificial organs-a merger of mechanical parts with cells grown in laboratory cultures-could reduce premature death, improve quality of life and serve as vital bridges for seniors waiting for naturalorgan transplants.
In the U.S., thousands of people die annually waiting for a transplant, and many thousands more never even make it onto a waiting list, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing in Richmond, Va., which manages the nationwide transplant network.