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Galveston Doctors Grow Functioning Human Lungs

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Doctors at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Houston are the first to successfully grow human lungs in a lab.

Scientists started with a damaged lung, removing all of the bad cells, and then taking viable cells from another lung. The original process took about four months, but UTMB medical student Dr. Michael Riddle Jr., was able to come up with a way to speed up the process, that now takes about three days.  "He's the one that actually went home and actually built I'm not kidding using a fish tank he went and bought from a pet store, is what he built the first piece of equipment," says UTMB Research Team Lead Dr. Joan Nichols.

The entire experiment took about a year. "It's taken us a year to prove to ourselves that we actually did a good job with it.. and so you don't run out immediately and tell the world we have something wonderful until we proved it to ourselves that we really did something pretty amazing," Dr. Nichols says.

The goal is to shorten the time, or even remove the wait for an organ, so that those who need one don't end up on a long list, or worse, end up dying before they can get an organ that matches.  

Galveston Doctors Grow Functioning Human Lungs


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