(Image Courtesy of Gizmodo)
One of the beauties of living on planet Earth is that if you ever have an organ fail, you can easily sign up for a new one before the rest of your body expires (well, at least you can in China).
Instead of waiting for suitable donor organ from Earth, it may be more practical for off world settlers to grow their own instead.
(Gizmodo) Laboratory-grown organs and tissues are already benefiting patients today. For example, laboratory-grown bladders are being tested in children with spina bifida and adults with spinal cord injuries and will soon be tested in patients with bladder cancer. Tissue engineering technology has been used to repair narrowed urethras, the tube that empties urine from the body.
The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine has already made great strides in producing functioning organs which will potentially benefit millions of individuals on Earth.
Led by Anthony Atala, this medical technology could have the potential of affecting millions of future settlers across our star system, enabling them to live with greater independence from our home world.