Re-Growing Human Body Parts
The ability to regenerate or recreate missing body parts sounds more like part of a science fiction story than reality.
But researchers are finding evidence that regeneration may be possible someday in the future with improvements in technology. They imagine using 3D-printing to make a kidney for someone in need of a replacement. They also talk about possibly using bioelectricity to cause cells to build new tissue and organs.
These ideas and others were discussed earlier this month at the World Science Festival in New York City. The presentation was called "Forever Young: The Promise of Human Regeneration."
Scientists talked about the future of regenerative medicine, which combines the body's ability to heal itself with progress in biomedical engineering.
Dany Spencer Adams is a research professor at Tufts University in Massachusetts. He told VOA that researchers have found that bioelectrical signals can lead to cellular processes in frog tadpoles. He said such signals may someday start the formation of nerves, muscles and other body parts.
"This is the cells themselves using electricity to communicate," he said.
In an experiment, a frog re-grew one of its legs in six months. But scientists first had to make changes in the characteristics of the animal's cells.
Researchers say they have a lot more work to do before the process can be used on human beings. They have to learn which bioelectric signals can influence the formation of which organs.
Adams says "it's better to regenerate that organ so that you don't have issues of the immune system attacking, the way we do now with transplants. The hope is that we'll be able to help the body create a better replacement -- really, a perfect replacement, for the person of exactly what they've lost."
Jonathan Butcher is a professor and biomedical engineer at Cornell University in New York. He and other researchers have combined mechanical engineering with developmental biology to create working heart valves from 3D-printed tissue.
Children may get the most help from engineered organs or partial organs that can grow as the child does.
I'm Anne Ball.
1.the formation of ...的形成
My profession had an important influence in the formation of my character and temperament.
2.the immune system 免疫系统
Yoga can be used to strengthen the immune system.
3.heart valves 心脏瓣膜
They took the heart valves, too.
4.science fiction 科幻小说
This novel is not science fiction, nor is it Gothic horror.
1.But scientists first had to make changes in the characteristics of the animal's cells.
make changes 改变
We cannot wait on the government to make changes at its own pace.
The assembly arrogated to itself the right to make changes.
2.They imagine using 3D-printing to make a kidney for someone in need of a replacement.
in need of 需要
There was damp everywhere and the entire building was in need of rewiring.
I am in need of a loan of a bike for a few weeks.
研究人员正在寻找证据，证明随着科技进步，未来某一天再生可成为现实 。他们设想利用3D打印为需要肾脏移植的人制造肾脏 。他们还谈到了可能利用生物电流刺激细胞再生新的机体组织和器官 。
月初，在纽约市世界科学节上，上述主张和其它设想都引起了讨论 。本次发布会名为“永葆青春：人类再生的愿景 。”
丹尼·斯潘塞·亚当斯（Dany Spencer Adams）是马萨诸塞州塔夫茨大学的研究教授 。他告诉美国之音，研究人员发现，生物电流信号能够触发蝌蚪的细胞修复 。他说，这类信号未来或许可以触发神经、肌肉等其它身体部位再生 。
在一次实验中，青蛙用6个月的时间再生了一条腿 。但科学家必须先改变青蛙的细胞特性 。
研究人员表示，再生技术应用到人体之前，还有很多的准备工作需要完成 。他们必须得了解什么生物信号会影响什么器官的再生 。
亚当斯表示：“重塑受损器官再好不过，如此就可避免当今器官移植时遇到的免疫系统排斥问题 。希望我们能够帮助那些身体有缺陷的人再生一个完美的替代品 。”
乔纳森·布切尔（Jonathan Butcher）是纽约康奈尔大学的教授和生物医学工程师 。他和其他研究人员将机械工程和发育生物学相结合，通过3D打印器官再造可运作的心脏瓣膜 。