In a bold new strategy, scientists at Oxford aim to replace the need for organ donors by replacing them with tissues grown artificially from cloned cells, using specialized bio-mechanical containers designed to mimic the human body.
Cloning brings up terrifying images, a gallery of mad science and fantasy, but the reality of genetic technology has far less dramatic appeal. It is a matter of laboratory work, strict guidelines, and workers held to specific and rigid specifications involving petri dishes and database references. The public and the entertainment media present human cloning as an audacity, but the truth of human cells that can be grown artificially would revolutionize medicine and lead to dramatically longer and healthier lives.
A person suffering from a disease of the liver might go on a waiting list while a match is found with compatible tissues. Cloning those tissues, and re-growing a healthy liver using an artificial host, would make death by diseases of the liver far less likely. As technology advances, the industry would naturally expand and begin to replace kidneys, bone marrow, and vital organs