I’ve seen this photograph very frequently on tumblr and Facebook, always with the simple caption, “Ghost Heart”. What exactly is a ghost heart?
More than 3,200 people are on the waiting list for a heart transplant in the United States. Some won’t survive the wait. Last year, 340 died before a new heart was found.
The solution: Take a pig heart, soak it in an ingredient commonly found in shampoo and wash away the cells until you’re left with a protein scaffold that is to a heart what two-by-four framing is to a house.
Then inject that ghost heart, as it’s called, with hundreds of millions of blood or bone-marrow stem cells from a person who needs a heart transplant, place it in a bioreactor - a box with artificial lungs and tubes that pump oxygen and blood into it - and wait as the ghost heart begins to mature into a new, beating human heart.
Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, has been working on this— first using rat hearts, then pig hearts and human hearts - for years.
The process is called decellularization and it is a tissue engineering technique designed to strip out the cells from a donor organ, leaving nothing but connective tissue that used to hold the cells in place.
This scaffold of connective tissue - called a “ghost organ” for its pale and almost translucent appearance - can then be reseeded with a patient’s own cells, with the goal of regenerating an organ that can be transplanted into the patient without fear of tissue rejection.
This ghost heart is ready to be injected with a transplant recipient’s stem cells so a new heart - one that won’t be rejected - can be grown.
Excuse me but we can’t just kill pigs to save human lives. That is wrong.
Found the vegan
This is a mysterious place outside of Ames known as “The Twisted Playground.” It’s located on a gravel road across from the house of an old man who supposedly built it. There are many varying stories behind it, often including a daughter who was hit by a car leading to him building it as a memorial. That story is naturally followed by a statement that her spirit haunts the playground…
The man is rumored to watch over the place armed with a shotgun.
NO BUT GUYS REALLY.
This is the coolest place ever and one of my favorite things to go see. It’s right by Ames, so all of my Iowa State friends should come with me. It’s creepy, but fantastic… and the, “The man is rumored to watch over the place armed with a shotgun,” statement is true. I’ve seen it first hand.
If we’re dating there is like a 90% chance that I’ll watch your tv shows with you and make out with you during commercial breaks and fall asleep on your lap halfway through the program.
what would the other 10% be
me eating all your food
Does anyone else lie in bed at 2:30am filled with the crippling fear that they’re never going to accomplish anything in life and fail miserably or is that just me