Human Exceptionalism

Another Day, Another Adult Stem Cell Success

This is still experimental, but the little girl who had a new windpipe built from her bone marrow cells won’t care. From the AP story:

A 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment. Hannah Warren has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own since she was born in South Korea in 2010. Until the operation at a central Illinois hospital, she had spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul. Doctors there told her parents there was no hope and they expected her to die.

The stem cells came from Hannah’s bone marrow, extracted from her hip bone. They were seeded in a lab onto a plastic scaffold, where it took less than a week for them to grow into the new windpipe. About the size of a 3-inch tube of penne pasta, it was implanted on April 9 in a nine-hour procedure. Early signs indicate the windpipe is working, Hannah’s doctors announced yesterday, although she is still on a ventilator. They believe she will eventually be able to live at home and lead a normal life.

There’s a word for that: Wow!

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