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I had my dad buy a bear for my grandfather while he was ill. I do that for all of my grandparents when they are ill. My grandfather passed away while I was on a school trip in the bahamas. I didn’t find out until I was settled back at home. The next week, my grandfathers teddy bear was sent to me along with a few other special things. Every night I sleep with it in my arms because I know if I were ill, he would have held me in his arms. This is my last connection with him. I’m blessed to have had him as a grandfather and I love my grandmothers as well. They are a blessing in my life and I’m very grateful for them and all they do. Weather near or far, I know that they are with me in my mind, heart, and soul. I have no desire that they could go to hell or heaven. They don’t need to. They live their lives to their fullest and my grandfathers body rests in peace but his soul lives on. I love you all. Thank you for this beautiful life you all have granted me.



I’ve seen this photograph very frequently on tumblr and Facebook, always with the simple caption, “Ghost Heart”. What exactly is a ghost heart?

More than 3,200 people are on the waiting list for a heart transplant in the United States. Some won’t survive the wait. Last year, 340 died before a new heart was found.

The solution: Take a pig heart, soak it in an ingredient commonly found in shampoo and wash away the cells until you’re left with a protein scaffold that is to a heart what two-by-four framing is to a house.

Then inject that ghost heart, as it’s called, with hundreds of millions of blood or bone-marrow stem cells from a person who needs a heart transplant, place it in a bioreactor - a box with artificial lungs and tubes that pump oxygen and blood into it - and wait as the ghost heart begins to mature into a new, beating human heart.

Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, has been working on this— first using rat hearts, then pig hearts and human hearts - for years.

The process is called decellularization and it is a tissue engineering technique designed to strip out the cells from a donor organ, leaving nothing but connective tissue that used to hold the cells in place. 

This scaffold of connective tissue - called a “ghost organ” for its pale and almost translucent appearance - can then be reseeded with a patient’s own cells, with the goal of regenerating an organ that can be transplanted into the patient without fear of tissue rejection.

This ghost heart is ready to be injected with a transplant recipient’s stem cells so a new heart - one that won’t be rejected - can be grown.


This is the coolest fucking thing ever. Science, man. Fucking science. Shit completely blows me away.

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