Thursday, January 24, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Two Articles...

Here are two things that were in my mailbox this morning:
Transplant goal 'one step closer'

Scientists appear to be a step closer to transplanting a kidney without the need for a lifetime of drugs.

Two separate US techniques have seen recipients recovering without the need for powerful drugs, which carry many side-effects - including a cancer risk.

Unless the organ comes from an identical twin, the body's reaction is to reject it as a foreign invader.

UK experts said the findings were exciting, but warned a lack of donor organs remained the principal problem.
[Full Story]

That was the first story on two different approaches to transplant research. It's worth a read, I think. But, then there was this other story which just sort of blew my mind:
Transplant 'miracle' for teen

Article from: AAP
By Tamara McLean
January 24, 2008 02:05pm

A YOUNG transplant patient has defied medical science by spontaneously switching blood types and taking on her donor's immune system

NSW teenager Demi Brennan is believed to be the first person in the world to completely accept a donated organ to the extent where her immune system entirely changed.

Demi, now 15, suffered liver failure and had a liver transplant at the age of nine in 2001.

Several months on from the transplant, her doctors at Westmead Children's Hospital say they were shocked to discover her blood type had changed to match the blood type of her deceased male donor.

On closer inspection, specialists found that stem cells from thedonor liver had penetrated her bone marrow, effectively resulting in a naturally occurring bone marrow transplant.

Her doctor, Michael Stormon, said she was able to come off the anti-rejection drugs which most transplant patients needed to take for the rest of their lives.
[full story]
Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure where to go with this story. I'm not a doctor. I don't play one on TV, and I sure as hell know nothing about biology, hematology, and any other "ology" you can think of. One thing is certain, and that is that it stresses the importance of stem cell research (and you should also have that little sticker on your driver's licenses). But, what's most fascinating is that who knew it was entirely possible to change one's blood type and immune system?

The human body. It's freakin' weird sometimes, huh?


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/24/2008 11:08:00 AM


  1. I actually AM an -ologist (a Medical Technologist), and yes, that is a remarkable story. That poor girl is probably going to be studied extensively, though, to find out why her immune system was more open to such an event. Fascinating!


  2. If they could transplant lungs,I'd smoke a pack of Newports a day.