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Kidney transplants and two developments that can revolutionize health

There must be very few – very few, I believe – people who do not recognize the important role of science, particularly medical science, in extending the life expectancy of human beings. Both you and I are, in addition, privileged witnesses of the development of technology to provide solutions to problems that until recently seemed impossible or, at least, bring us much closer to the answer.

Taking into account the wonderful machine that is the human body, the possibility of transplanting organs between human beings seems to me. However, it is well known that the surgical procedure is only the first part of a much more complex process, in which it must be ensured the proper functioning of the organ in another body, prevent it from being rejected and ensure that the recipient extends their life expectancy.

Since the beginning of the last century

Until the first half of the last century there were many unsuccessful attempts, especially due to the immune response of the receiving organism. There the importance of histocompatibility antigens (immunological similarity between the tissues of the donor and the recipient) was discovered.

In 1964, in the then workers’ hospital of Ica, Dr. Augusto Hernández Mendoza performed the first two kidney transplants with deceased donors in Peru.

“Scientific research continues to advance, testing, questioning and finding new clues to find a way for more human beings to live longer.”

He received the kidney from his father, but shortly after – because it was an unprecedented procedure – he lost it. His amazing story of 30 operations and four kidney transplants You can find it at

In Peru, in 1978 the first cornea transplant was performed; in 1993, the first successful heart transplant; in 1994, the first bone marrow transplant; in 2000, the first liver transplant; in 2006, the first partial lung transplant (a mother donated to her one year and three month old son); in 2008, the first total lung transplant in an adult; in 2009, the first pancreas and kidney transplant; in 2010, the first combined liver and kidney transplant; in 2011, the first pediatric heart transplant to a 12-year-old boy and the first pediatric liver transplant to a 5-year-old girl; in 2012, the first two-lung transplant; and in 2023 the first sequential two-lung transplant in an older adult.

The most recent

Last week two very encouraging news for the development of transplants was known. On the one hand, researchers from Northwestern University (USA) published a study in the magazine “Science” about uy that will serve to continuously and real-time monitor the health of the organ. This will allow early detection of any change in the temperature of the receiving organism that is related to rejection, saving a lot of time compared to current methods.

Why do they focus on temperature and not measure markers in the blood? Because they determined that , so any abnormal variation can become an early warning of eventual transplant rejection.

Then, researchers from the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health (China) published a study in the journal “Cell Stem Cell” in which . Although This research has opened the door to other ethical problems (since scientists found some human cells in the brains of the embryos), this is one more attempt to help combat the shortage of organs for donation.

This figure shows humanized kidney cells (appearing fluorescent red) within an embryo compared to a pig embryo.

The same researchers point out that still, but that their results deserve “further exploration.”

As is clear, scientific research continues to advance, testing, questioning and finding new clues to find – in this particular case – the way in which more human beings can have the opportunity to overcome serious health problems and live longer.

Source: Elcomercio

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