Scientists at the University of Minnesota recently revealed that they had been able to grow a rat heart in a laboratory. While it will take years before this will be available to human beings, their success has raised the hopes that some day it will be possible to grow new hearts and other organs to replace or repair damaged ones.
The team in Minnesota took a dead rat's heart and stripped out all the cells. Imagine buying a house and then taking all the walls out - leaving only the wooden frame. They then pumped the "skeleton" of the heart with new cells from young healthy rats. Much to their amazement, within eight days, the cells formed a new pumping heart.
The scientists believe that some day we will be able to do the same thing with not only human hearts, but also other organs like the kidney and liver. In the case of humans, they hope to inject cells from the person who the organ belongs to. They believe, this could solve the biggest issue currently facing people who receive organ transplants - their bodies sometimes reject other people's organs.
Additionally, people who need a new organ will not have to wait for years for a matching donor. This is one of the most exciting breakthroughs in science in recent history and, we hope that scientists will be able to use it on humans soon.
The video below explains in a really simple manner how the whole procedure works. Be sure to check it out.