Imagine a group of people sitting down one afternoon, casually eating their lunch, and one dude is eating a salad. As he took a closer look at his food, he leaned over to his friend and said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we turned this piece of spinach on my fork into a human organ?”
I’m not confident that that’s the exact conversation they had, but a group of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts recently discovered how to turn a piece of spinach into a piece of human heart tissue. (And yes, they actually thought of this over lunch.)
The team started by soaking the spinach leaves in detergent for about a week, which made them clear. They then injected dyed liquid directly into the spinach to see if the liquid could flow through the veins in the leaves, like blood flowing through veins in the human body.
I didn’t realize a vegetable had so much potential in the medical industry.
The group of college students and professors wanted to create a way for heart transplant patients to get treatment without having to wait around for an organ donor, because not many people are willing to give away their heart. WPI hopes that this innovative and greener way of repairing heart tissue will help those in need of an organ donor get faster treatment.
Also, I just realized that my food has accomplished more than me today. Thanks, science.