And In really Important News
Rick Weiss reports the first successful synthesis of a functioning human organ -- the bladder. These will improve lives long after DeLay and Berlusconi are forgotten.
I have some silly thoughts on the topic. One is that one of the groups who achieved this miracle is based in Wake Forest University which I had heard of previously only in the context of basketball. This reminds me that, in spite of his hopes expressed on April fools day, Mark Kleiman is not teaching at some basketball factory and hey I managed to link to both the most important and the most trivial story on page one of washingtonpost.com.
Second, well a bladder does look a little bit like a ball and basketballs have bladders inside don't they ?
Third "A key advance, which began with the fourth patient, was a decision to wrap the new bladder in omentum, a kind of tissue in the body that is rich in blood vessels and so provides key nutrients and oxygen." I can just imagine a crowd of enthusiastic medicine fans chanting "Omentum Omentum Omentum" now that doctors have the big O on their side.
Fourth, why do reporters have to bring everything back to politics and continually remind me of Bush and the Republicans. A significant part of the article is devoted to noting that no embryonic stem cells were involved. Weiss neglects to mention that the bladders have nothing to do with terrorism or drilling on the Artic North Slope of Alaska.
Finally, in spite of the wonderful accomplishment, the lives of the patients, who have spina bifida, are still pretty miserable so I beg all fertile women to take their folic acid pills if they might be pregnant which means until menopause. The key to preventing Spina Bifida is having enough folic acid in the 14 days after conception which are notably the days between conception and ones first missed period so plan in advance, because when you know it will be too late.
If you don't like pills eat lettuce.