See elaborate architectural glass bulbs with tubes feeding suspended rodent hearts — one lifeless with old cells; another one stage farther, a pale "scaffold" ready for stem cells to be injected; and finally a regenerated heart pink, pumping, alive and beating on its own. Also hear the story of the man with a heart disease that told Taylor she is "building hope."
Using stem cells, Doris Taylor brought the heart of a dead animal back to life and might one day revolutionize human organ transplantation. She takes us beyond lightning rod issues and into an unfolding frontier where science is learning how stem cells work reparatively in every body at every age.
Doris Taylor shows Krista Tippett and senior producer Mitch Hanley a pig's heart and liver that have had their cells removed.
Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog
Three scientists were awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on telomeres — a term that came up in our interview with Doris Taylor. She explains that just as stress can shorten telomeres, they have the potential to be lengthened and extend life.
About the Image
In her lab at the University of Minnesota, Doris Taylor points to a "bioreactor" that contains a beating, regenerated heart.
Voices on the Radio
Host/Producer: Krista Tippett
Managing Producer: Kate Moos
Associate Producer: Nancy Rosenbaum
Associate Producer: Shubha Bala
Technical Director/Producer: Chris Heagle
Senior Editor: Trent Gilliss
Associate Web Developer: Anne Breckbill
Rachel Naomi Remen's lifelong struggle with chronic illness has shaped her philosophy and practice of medicine. She speaks about the art of listening to patients and other physicians, the difference between curing and healing, and how our losses help us to live.
The American experience of stress has spawned a multi-billion dollar self-help industry. Wary of this, Esther Sternberg says that, until recently, modern science did not have the tools or the inclination to take emotional stress seriously. She shares fascinating new scientific insight into the molecular level of the mind-body connection.