February 14, 2014
For the first time, scientists have created human lungs in a lab — an exciting step forward in regenerative medicine, but an advance that likely won’t help patients for many years.
“It’s so darn cool,” said Joan Nichols, a researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “It’s been science fiction and we’re moving into science fact.”
If the lungs work — and that’s a big if — they could help the more than 1,600 people awaiting a lung transplant. Lungs are one of many body parts being manufactured in the lab — some parts, such as tracheas and livers, are even further along.