If you missed this great yarn from NPR’s national treasure Robert Krulwich, you missed a real treat. Here’s the salt of it: Brilliant scientists custom-engineer a human trachea…but their efforts to use it to help a desperate patient in Spain are almost foiled by Neanderthal airport security types who say the bottle containing the trachea is over the 100 milliliter limit and can’t be brought on a plane. (Oops, now that it looks like Neanderthals may have created ancient cave paintings, I may be insulting them by comparing them with certain airport guards.) All ends well — the scientists hire a small private jet — if expensively.
Here’s a choice chunk, including our local angle:
Now comes the We’ve Never Done This Before part: The trachea was then “dipped” into a bath of Claudia’s cells, to see if they would attach.
A company in America, Harvard Bioscience Inc., of Holliston, Mass., makes a shoebox-sized “bioreactor” for just this purpose. It looks like a rotisserie for barbecuing chickens. Continue reading