The Odd Blog

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Hearts in Minneapolis

Posted by That Other Mike on 15/01/2008

Coolest scientific discovery of the year, no matter what. Unless someone invents a warp drive, maybe. H/t to Pharyngula for this one:

Researchers create a new heart in the lab

Work opens a new path to replacement of hearts and other organs

By Deane Morrison

January 14, 2008

In a medical first, University researchers have created a beating heart in the laboratory. Using detergents, they stripped away the cells from rat hearts until only the nonliving matrix was left; they then repopulated the matrix with fresh heart cells.

If perfected, the technique may be used someday to generate new hearts for patients. In the United States alone, about 5 million people live with heart failure, 550,000 new cases are diagnosed every year, and 50,000 die waiting for a donor heart. The work is published online in the January 13 issue of Nature Medicine.

(via UMNnews article)

It also ties neatly into what I was saying the other day about organ donations – the sooner we can create new organs or heal people’s old ones, the better. Or this could tie into organ donation structures that are already in place. Whatever happens, a fantastic discovery.

And no, I couldn’t resist the Stephen King reference in the title. I have poor impulse control and an insatiable desire for puns.


12 Responses to “Hearts in Minneapolis”

  1. For the record, I can’t Stand the King reference. I’d rather work the Nightshift than put up with It. It’s too much of a burden for me to Carrie and seems bordering on Desperation.


  2. Mike said

    You know, all of those will just work me into a Rage.

    I bet I can do more obscure King references. You’ll certainly have a Long Walk to find someone better at it than me. That aside, you shouldn’t Cell yourself short or become mired in Misery over your inability to outdo my Shining wit.

  3. Too shagged out to pick up the gauntlet — but I loved The Long Walk. Liked all the Bachman books, in fact. Especially Roadwork, which possibly coloured some of my own work… I think even TRotHG is slightly coloured by it in my treatment of Sonny’s mental state.

    Never had you down as a King fan.

  4. Mike said

    Heheheheh… I rule. I am the Crimson King! OK, I’ll quit.

    I enjoyed Roadwork, although I thought it slightly lacked direction sometimes. Good book generally, though; some excellent imagery in it, IIRC.

    Oh, yes, a long-time subject. Even when he’s being dreadful, I stick by him. Case in point – Lisey’s Story was wonderful… until he introduced the part about vanishing into thin air. *sigh* It’s like a disease with him, I think. And the crying shame of it is that for all of his horror and supernatural fiction, SK can write so beautifully and movingly about people being people. But it seems like he doesn’t feel at home unless there’s some kind of monster in there somewhere, so I put up with it.

  5. I haven’t read King since… oh, must have been Gerald’s Game. That really did for me.

    You are bang on the button, though. That was why I stuck with him so long. I wanted more like The Body and he delivered The Tommyknockers (which, to be fair, has some great character writing in it… if he’d only omitted the flying killer Coke machine!)

  6. Mike said

    Not to mention The Apt Pupil and Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption.

  7. Cujo was fairly good, too… and I love the early part of Pet Semetary, before the horror kicks in.

    You read much/any Peter Straub?

  8. Mike said

    I tried, but couldn’t get into what he was writing.

  9. He has some real “moments”, but his writing is terribly messy and uneven. Wants to be Henry James, but largely fails.

    Oddly, I prefered him to King for a while, and still revisit him on occasion, for old time’s sake. Ghost Story was a favourite but, like I say, so much wrong with it. His editor must have been unwell, I guess.

  10. Mike said


    I sometimes feel a little like that about one of my faves – Toby Litt. I even corresponded with him for a while. Ooooh! Get her! </camp>

    Some incredible writing; his description of Conrad’s gradual slide into almost-paranoia and bloody revenge in Corpsing, for example, is chilling and thrilling (Rhymes! Yay!), and Finding Myself is fascinating if slightly meandering in places, and he truly does a fantastic job writing as a woman in it. The level of attention to detail and research in Beatniks is astonishing. deadkidsongs, OTOH, is deeply flawed and disturbing while at the same time verging on genius level, and Ghost Story was the first book of his that I couldn’t get into.

  11. “I even corresponded with him for a while.” I chatted with Poppy Z Brite via email a few years back. She was disappointingly normal. 😦

  12. Mike said

    Heh. The writers of weird usually are.

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