Posted by: Michael D. Austin | January 15, 2008

Words Fail, Jaw Drops

It seems that researchers at University of Minnesota, in a team headed by Dr. Doris Taylor, have succeeded in “reconstructing” a mammalian heart from near-total demise. See the NY Times article. This blog is PG, so it’s not appropriate for me to actually write the stunned expressions of surprise which might occur to me.

This, of course, is a big deal, folks. I remember when Kary Mullis – the Nobel Laureate surfer-dude credited with discovering the polymerase chain reaction which allowed fast replication of DNA – was quoted around 15 years ago in a magazine interview with a throwaway line paraphrasing, “Yeah, you can build a human in an apartment with $50,000,” because the chemistry involved was, even then, straightforward.

Stem cells, people. Aldous Huxley might’a had an inkling, but this is much more than his Brave New World. You know, I’ve got a copy of a fabulous sci-fi novel, To Open the Sky which I was honored to have Robert Silverberg to sign for me. It deals with cloning and its cultural implications and when I read it, words failed me. I thought it’s themes were so future-distant I might never see it happen in my lifetime. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s simply likely.


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