I’ve seen this photograph very frequently on tumblr and Facebook, always with the simple caption, “Ghost Heart”. What exactly is a ghost heart?
More than 3,200 people are on the waiting list for a heart transplant in the United States. Some won’t survive the wait. Last year, 340 died before a new heart was found.
The solution: Take a pig heart, soak it in an ingredient commonly found in shampoo and wash away the cells until you’re left with a protein scaffold that is to a heart what two-by-four framing is to a house.
Then inject that ghost heart, as it’s called, with hundreds of millions of blood or bone-marrow stem cells from a person who needs a heart transplant, place it in a bioreactor - a box with artificial lungs and tubes that pump oxygen and blood into it - and wait as the ghost heart begins to mature into a new, beating human heart.
Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, has been working on this— first using rat hearts, then pig hearts and human hearts - for years.
The process is called decellularization and it is a tissue engineering technique designed to strip out the cells from a donor organ, leaving nothing but connective tissue that used to hold the cells in place.
This scaffold of connective tissue - called a “ghost organ” for its pale and almost translucent appearance - can then be reseeded with a patient’s own cells, with the goal of regenerating an organ that can be transplanted into the patient without fear of tissue rejection.
This ghost heart is ready to be injected with a transplant recipient’s stem cells so a new heart - one that won’t be rejected - can be grown.
because people are still asking that question
because women are payed less than men in approximately 99% of professions
because chris brown can still have a career after assaulting rihanna but miley cyrus takes her clothes off and there’s a huge scandal
because of this:
because currently it is estimated ten million more girls are out of education than boys (x)
because we’re expected to be mature but hairless like a child, in control but not bossy, sexy but not slutty and definitely not a prude, intelligent but not opinionated, independent but reliant on men, natural but look like the girl in the magazine etc etc
because being called a girl, a pussy or a bitch is an insult
because when i told my mum i refused to get anything less than a’s in my exams she told me it wasn’t ladylike to be so cocky
because my brother and 90% of my male friends think girls who wear revealing clothing are asking for rape
because every person who identifies as female should be allowed to choose if they want to get married, have kids, have a career, go to uni etc etc without expectations
because tampons and sanitary pads are stupidly expensive
because some people reading this will have flinched at the fact i just said ‘tampon’
because there are men out there whose job it is to make young girls feel like absolute shit about themselves just so they can sell the next best beauty product
because female masturbation isn’t considered normal whilst men can talk about their own penises for hours on end
because feminists are still seen as crazy lesbians who dont shave and some still feel like they have to defend themselves by claiming theyre not any of those things when in fact if i want to be a passionate lady who likes other ladies and cant be bothered to shave my legs every twenty minutes then thats my choice and if i want to be someone who wears make up and shaves and goes out partying then thats my choice and if i want to be a combination of the two or anything in between then thats. my. choice.
because i believe anyone who identifies as female is fucking badass and deserves the same rights as every privileged stuck up old white man sitting around and making laws about our bodies
because how can you not be
I’d love to sit there and just drink my tea, listening to the rain
I’d love to have sex there and listen to the rain between moans
there are two kinds of people
I want to do both!
|—||Sue Monk Kidd (via impetrate)|
i wanna be cool and wear jeans and a shirt but i wanna wear GREAT BIG VICTORIAN DRESSES AND CURL MY HAIR but i wanna wear a 50s poodle skirt with a beehive but i wanna wear a ballgown but i wanna wear a WEDDING DRESS ALL THE TIME but i wanna dress up like a dragon but i wanna wear hogwarts robes but i wanna wear shorts and a plaid top you get me
|—||Maria Joana (via jenniferslawrence)|
If you ever start to feel like a third wheel, stop. You are not a third wheel. You are a majestic unicycle and they are your noble training wheels.