Growing Organs on Apples – The future of regenerative medicine may be plants

CobXc2QXEAAzO3CIn the high-ceilinged basement lab, the ear lies flat, encapsulated in a dish on a sheet-metal cabinet. It’s actually a piece of apple carved to look like an ear, yet it’s not really an apple either; the cellulose has been washed of its apple cells and populated instead with human ones. They are HeLa cells, the infamously ubiquitous cultured offspring of a long-ago cervical cancer. I am looking at an ear made of cervix, held together by apple.

“Biohacking is the new gardening,” says Andrew Pelling, who leads the Pelling Laboratory for Biophysical Manipulation at the University of Ottawa. Pelling eschews the current vogue for genetic and chemical biological manipulation, investigating instead the ways in which cells behave when their physical surroundings change.

The apple ear was created as an artistic statement, referring to a famous case of a human ear that was grafted onto a mouse’s back, and its choice of HeLa cells was intentionally provocative. But the fusion of plant and animal it represents holds promise for regenerative medicine, in which defective body parts may be replaced by engineered alternatives.

By Jessa Gamble | The Atlantic

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About Peter Coffaro 1057 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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