Incredible! Is the implication here that scientists could actually grow or repair a heart! Hurry the hell up then scientists, we’re not getting any younger ya know! And does this mean that god doesn’t exist? Reducible complexity and all?
Creation of artificial organs is of course one of the goals of this research but its important not to have unrealistic expectations which when unmet, undermine amazing accomplishments such as this.
Scientists have been able so far to make artificial organs that are hollow like an esophagus or bladder but solid complex organs like hearts and kidneys add a much greater level of complexity to the equation. The problem is that the organ has to grow in some sort of artificial incubator and at the same time develop a circulatory system which then has to connect to an artificial circulatory system provided by the incubator. Not only does the organ have to grow this web of blood vessels but the incubator has to change an adapt as the organ grows and act as a heart lung machine all the while without allowing clots to form which would destroy the organ.
No one yet knows how to orchestrate that process. How do you get the cells to form a ventricle rather than a simple sheet of cells and from there how do you get a four chambered heart with all the necessary valves and vessels. How do you get the SA node (the hearts natural pacemaker) to differentiate from the rest of the surrounding heart cells and for that matter how do you tell those cells to form the electrical conduction system of the heart?
None of this is impossible from what we currently know but I wouldn’t count on it happening tomorrow. We should all be thankful that there are people willing to spend their lives working on these things even if the final payoff will not be in their own lifetimes and the Nobel prize goes to someone else.