Re: technological accleration?

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Tue Sep 04 2001 - 15:57:15 MDT

On Tue, Sep 04, 2001 at 04:54:23PM -0400, Mike Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > Organ transplants: in 1971, heart transplants were -- publicity aside --
> > grand-standing experimentation. Today, thanks to much better immunosupressant
> > agents, many people can run for years or decades on replacement organs. We
> > wouldn't have the Chinese government harvesting organs from executed felons
> > (a la Larry Niven) if it wasn't a technology that had arrived.
> Now they want to grow transplant organs for you on or in genetically
> engineered farm animals. That photo of the mouse with the human ear
> growing on its back was one of the coolest images I've seen.

Yeah, but I'd rather they grew the ear on _me_ than on a _mouse_, if
you see what I mean. (Trans-species viral cross-infection is not a nice
thought, especially as there's some suggestion that this mechanism --
cross-species transfer -- is how most pathogenic problems got started
to begin with.)

Regeneration from stem cells beats tissue culture on an immune-compromised
host organism any day of the week in terms of desirability.

-- Charlie

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