Saturday, June 18, 2016

TED Talk: Andrew Pelling on Kitchen Waste Usefulness and Ears from Apples

In this short 7 minute TED talk, you will see University of Ottawa's Andrew Pelling demonstrate how his creative biological research lab made a human ear shape from a McIntosh apple. His intrigue lies in whether we will be able to make body parts out of things found in our kitchens. Another example he gave was using asparagus to heal and bridge spinal cord gaps.

In my opinion, he's definitely on to something. Plants have provided many of our most important medicines and healing modalities in the past. They are also alive, sensitive, and communicative. This looks to be a new frontier for the merging world of technology, science, and medicine innovation. Plant-human-animal combinations, is this our future?

The competing medical science for Pelling's use of kitchen scraps is the rapidly advancing field of stem cell research and applications - what can Pelling do with plants that cannot be better achieved using stem cells is the question. More likely, unexpected outcomes or discoveries about what plants have to offer that stem cells cannot offer will be the usefulness.

< / horrified >

Today, I also listened to Science Friday's talk about test tube embryos from skin cells and the likelihood that in 20-40 years we'll be picking one such embryo out of 100 choices for our best possible disease free offspring, and, importantly, it will be economically worthwhile to do so. This stuff is coming at us quickly.

Finally, about that ear... "But is it a GMO and if so is it labeled?"