Patient Develops an Allergy to Kiwis Following Surgery

A 46-year-old man who underwent a bone marrow transplant has suddenly contracted an allergy to kiwi fruit. Scientists say it’s the first evidence that allergies can be carried to a patient from a donor’s stem cells.

Source: Patient Develops an Allergy to Kiwis Following Surgery

That’s awful! They’re tasty AND adorable!  The fruit too 🙂

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Organ Transplants Between HIV-Positive Patients Begin At Johns Hopkins

Organ transplants between HIV-positive patients will begin as soon as the candidates are available, surgeons at Johns Hopkins Medical Center said.

Source: Organ Transplants Between HIV-Positive Patients Begin At Johns Hopkins

That HIV/AIDS is almost entirely preventable is a fact. That a little personal responsibility is all that’s needed to prevent it is not.

Children get it from their parents. People get it from bad medical practices. People who make the ‘right choices’ all of their lives get it from spouses who had it and didn’t know it, or from partners who picked it up while cheating. People get it because they live in a place with virtually no Sex Ed beyond “sex is bad, don’t do it unless you’re married to a person of the other sex,” and then make bad choices due to misinformation. And yes, some people who should know better make shitty life choices.

But even in the last case, it’s not something that should cause us to turn our backs on a person.

First Uterus Transplant in US Offers Hope to Thousands of Infertile Women

This sort of thing used to be inconceivable… 😀

A team of surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic have performed the first uterus transplant in the United States. A 26-year-old woman underwent the nine-hour operation on Wednesday, setting the stage for a future pregnancy—and what might possibly become a routine procedure in US hospitals.

Source: First Uterus Transplant in US Offers Hope to Thousands of Infertile Women

C’mon, there’s worse puns like “Dr. OBGYN, at your cervix”.  See! 🙂

For those reading this, thinking “All this just so she can experience being pregnant, instead of, you know, just adopting or using a surrogate.”…

Adopting a newborn is insanely expensive, and difficult. Rules around biological parents varies depending where you are, and there’s a lot of competition to get a newborn vs a child.

The temporary aspect is interesting too – it means surgery and all that entails, but apparently alleviates the need for anti-rejection drugs so there’s likely more to that than just cost.  Which I bet doesn’t please pharmaceuticals…

Scientists Just 3D Printed a Transplantable Human Ear

Scientists have developed an innovative 3D bioprinter capable of generating replacement tissue that’s strong enough to withstand transplantation. To show its power, the scientists printed a jaw bone, muscle, and cartilage structures, as well as a stunningly accurate human ear.

Source: Scientists Just 3D Printed a Transplantable Human Ear

I’m thankful this process could replace the previous way they were approaching the transplantable ear – on the back of a lab mouse.  If you are squeamish, do not google image search.

Husband Saves Wife’s Life by Donating Kidney After Dieting and Exercising to get his Blood Pressure Low Enough for Surgery

In sickness and in health 🙂

A man has spent a year losing 70lbs so he could donate his kidney to his wife.

PJ Spraggins was delighted when he discovered he was a perfect match for wife Tracy, who was told her life-long battle with Lupus would kill her if she didn’t get a transplant. The waiting list is seven years long.

Source: Husband saves wife’s life by donating kidney after spending a year dieting and exercising to get his blood pressure low enough for surgery

Probably saved his life too.

Transgenic Pigs Shatter Transplant Records, Potential for Unlimited Organ Supply

Cheap liver replacement? I’ll drink to that! 😉

With the financial aid of a biotechnology executive whose daughter may need a lung transplant, U.S. researchers have been shattering records in xenotransplantation, or between-species organ transplants.

The researchers say they have kept a pig heart alive in a baboon for 945 days and also reported the longest-ever kidney swap between these species, lasting 136 days. The experiments used organs from pigs “humanized” with the addition of as many as five human genes, a strategy designed to stop organ rejection.

Source: Surgeons Smash Records with Pig-to-Primate Organ Transplants

It’s a race to see which will work and come out on top – this, or scaffolding.  Organ donation/harvesting from pigs has been on the radar for decades because our genes are quite similar.  But as the article points out, there are important differences that they are working on addressing.

Could a Dead Heart Save Your Life?

In October 2014, multiple headlines reported that a heart had stopped beating and been revived, before being transplanted into a living recipient. Scientists in Australia told the story of how they had transplanted the ‘dead’ heart. Could this be the answer to the shortage of donor hearts? Oscar Howard ‘Bud’ Frazier and his colleague Dr William ‘Billy’ Cohn of the Texas Heart Institute don’t think so.

Source: Could a Dead Heart Save Your Life?

I wish the article gave more information about the three minute window for a heart transplant.  There’s mention of packing organs in ice, but why not just ship the entire body?  The idea isn’t without its complications, but when such are the constraints of medicine currently – what choice is there?

Potential Future Treatment: Mitochondrial DNA Transplant

For the first time ever, researchers in New Zealand have shown that mitochondrial DNA can move between cells in an animal tumor. It’s an extraordinary finding that could lead to an entirely new field of synthetic biology and the treatment of hundreds of diseases.

…Unrelated to nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA encodes our genetic profile and encodes key proteins within mitochondria that convert energy from food into energy that’s crucial for brain and muscle function. Prior to the new study, scientists thought these genes stayed within cells, except during reproduction.

Source: A Mitochondrial DNA Transplant Could Help Treat Hundreds Of Diseases