By Michael J. Hyde, James A. Herrick
Technology, rhetoric, and talking concerning the post-human future.
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Extra resources for After the genome : a language for our biotechnological future
60 Using a different method, vascular access grafts for patients with end-stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis have been engineered and implanted in humans. To accomplish this, fibroblasts and endothelial cells were harvested from patients, separately expanded as sheets of cells, and then wrapped around a stainless steel cylinder to allow for fusion. 61 Other types of decellularized scaffolds have been used to create functioning tracheas. 62 Perhaps even more clinically significant, however, is the use of a human donor trachea, processed and transplanted into a human patient-subject suffering from a disease affecting the structural integrity of the lung’s bronchioles.
Regenerative medicine has been able to successfully replicate many types of tubular structures in both animals and humans. in general, these are subcomponents of larger organ systems, and consist of two different cell types arranged as sheets of cells. These sheets form into circular, bilayered tissues, which usually serve as means of transporting fluid throughout the body. These structures are histologically composed of an inner layer of epithelial cells that prevent fluid from escaping the conduit and an outer layer of smooth muscle and connective tissue to provide support.
Thus begins Sinclair Lewis’ 1925 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Arrowsmith. Many years later, at the novel’s end, Arrowsmith culminates his medical research career by using a vaccine he has invented to halt a bubonic plague epidemic on a Caribbean island. He does this in the face of opposition from a medical missionary who describes the plague as God’s just punishment for sin. in this victory over plague, won at the cost of the death of his wife, Arrowsmith fulfills the heroic resolve of his great-grandmother and symbolizes the spirit of science that fights against disease.
After the genome : a language for our biotechnological future by Michael J. Hyde, James A. Herrick