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Why can't we grow new body parts? Alan Russell on TED.com

Posted by: Tedstaff

Alan Russell studies regenerative medicine, a breakthrough way of treating disease and injury by helping the body to rebuild itself. He shows how engineered tissue that “speaks the body’s language” has helped a man regrow his lost fingertip, how stem cells can rebuild damaged heart muscle, and how cell therapy can regenerate the skin of burned soldiers. This new medicine comes just in time, Russell says — our aging population, with its steeply rising medical bills, will otherwise (and soon) cause a crisis in health care systems around the world. (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 19:37. Contains graphic medical imagery.) Read more about Alan Russell on TED.com.

Watch this talk on TED.com, where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances.

Comments (2)

  • Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado commented on Dec 10 2007

    It is unprofessional to not give credit to work one has not done. Your presentation was filled with such many instances. In the end, and based on your presentation, it is clear that Dr. Zerhouni (the “charming man” running the NIH) is right about you. It is not only a cheap shot, but also truly disrespectful. It will take more than average showmanship to change anybody’s apetite.

  • John Jaworski commented on Jul 6 2007

    Hi Alan,
    I find your presentation fascinating. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, with a hip and a knee replacement as well as Diabetes attributed to the 20 years I was on Prednisone. Is their a possibility that this type of treatment could eliminate Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes. Being on my second hip now (I’m 46 years old) and very worried about the effects of Diabetes and the RA as I get older, I’m anxious to find something different. Some kind of treatment that most Doctors are not trying.

    Unless someone has these issues, it’s difficult to imagine how desperate we are to be healthy.

    Is it possible to get involved in your studies as a patient?

    Thanks for a wonderful presentation… if nothing else… it give s me a hope for a better day tomorrow!

    John Jaworski