The Corner

Science & Tech

Lab-Grown Lungs Transplanted into Pigs

The human organ shortage is one of the great bioethical dilemmas of our time. Expanding the organ supply is a matter of life and death. But some proposed remedies — such as harvesting vital organs from the cognitively disabled as a form of euthanasia — are monstrous and would break every solemn promise made to the public about transplant medicine.

But there are ethical proposals too, such as making organs from one’s own stem cells. A big advance in this regard was recently achieved with pigs. From the ScienceNews story:

For the first time, researchers have created lungs in the lab and successfully transplanted them into pigs.

These bioengineered lungs . . . developed healthy blood vessels that allowed pigs to live for several weeks after surgery without medical complications. That’s a significant improvement from previous efforts: Lab-grown lungs implanted in rodents failed within hours, before the lungs could develop the complex blood vessel network necessary for long-term survival.

If the new procedure can be adapted for humans, with bioengineered lungs grown from a patient’s own cells, that could reduce the risk of organ rejection and slash wait times for organ transplants. In the United States, where about 1,500 people currently are on a waiting list for a lung transplant, the average wait is a few months.

The same kind of research efforts are being made with kidneyshearts, and other organs. It’s still a long road ahead, but if this research proceeds to clinical practice, countless lives could be saved without compromising transplant ethics.

During the stem-cell controversy, President George W. Bush told us to never underestimate the imagination and skill of scientists. This experiment demonstrates his point precisely.

To which I would add, contrary to the lies of the animal-rights movement, never doubt the importance and efficacy of animal experiments in developing medicines and new life-saving techniques. This “grim good” research could not be accomplished on computers or cell lines. It requires living research subjects.

That leaves three choices: Sacrifice humans in the research; use pigs and other animals; or, don’t do the research.

The first choice would be unthinkable and the third would be derelict. I choose door No. 2.

Most Popular

World

Jared Kushner Was Right

Over the past several years, a new certainty was added to death and taxes: Jared Kushner would fail in his role as the administration’s Middle East point man. It caused considerable merriment among President Donald Trump’s critics (and even some of his well-wishers) when he put his son-in-law in charge of ... Read More
World

Jared Kushner Was Right

Over the past several years, a new certainty was added to death and taxes: Jared Kushner would fail in his role as the administration’s Middle East point man. It caused considerable merriment among President Donald Trump’s critics (and even some of his well-wishers) when he put his son-in-law in charge of ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Barr Is Right About the Prosecution Power

Attorney General Bill Barr gave a speech at Hillsdale College on Wednesday that attracted a lot of attention. Much of that attention was for his ill-considered remark (in a question-and-answer session following the speech) that "Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, [the pandemic lockdowns ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Barr Is Right About the Prosecution Power

Attorney General Bill Barr gave a speech at Hillsdale College on Wednesday that attracted a lot of attention. Much of that attention was for his ill-considered remark (in a question-and-answer session following the speech) that "Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, [the pandemic lockdowns ... Read More

Snobs or Mobs?

A   lot of us were feeling pretty good about the future of the media in late September of 2004. Dan Rather and the CBS news division had just tried to derail George W. Bush’s reelection campaign with some genuine fake news — based on fake documents — and, in spite of the manful attempts of ... Read More

Snobs or Mobs?

A   lot of us were feeling pretty good about the future of the media in late September of 2004. Dan Rather and the CBS news division had just tried to derail George W. Bush’s reelection campaign with some genuine fake news — based on fake documents — and, in spite of the manful attempts of ... Read More

The Mystery of Robert E. Lee

No one who ever met Robert Edward Lee -- whatever the circumstances of the meeting -- failed to be impressed by the man. From his earliest days as a cadet at West Point, through 25 years as an officer in the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers and six more as a senior cavalry officer, and then as the supreme ... Read More

The Mystery of Robert E. Lee

No one who ever met Robert Edward Lee -- whatever the circumstances of the meeting -- failed to be impressed by the man. From his earliest days as a cadet at West Point, through 25 years as an officer in the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers and six more as a senior cavalry officer, and then as the supreme ... Read More
U.S.

Zoomers and the Constitution

A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center compared generational views on key social and political issues, focusing on the similarities between Millennials and Generation Z. The topics probed include race relations, diversity, climate change, capitalism, socialism, and the role of government. This last item, ... Read More
U.S.

Zoomers and the Constitution

A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center compared generational views on key social and political issues, focusing on the similarities between Millennials and Generation Z. The topics probed include race relations, diversity, climate change, capitalism, socialism, and the role of government. This last item, ... Read More
World

How Trump Changed U.S. Foreign Policy

On September 16 the editorial board of the New York Times did the impossible. It said something nice about President Trump. “The normalization of relations between Israel and two Arab states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, is, on the face of it, a good and beneficial development,” the editors wrote. ... Read More
World

How Trump Changed U.S. Foreign Policy

On September 16 the editorial board of the New York Times did the impossible. It said something nice about President Trump. “The normalization of relations between Israel and two Arab states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, is, on the face of it, a good and beneficial development,” the editors wrote. ... Read More