A Public Talk At Cambridge University On Saturday Will Draw Attention To The Growing Illegal Trade In Human Organs And Invite Discussion Of The Complex Ethical Issues Involved
As a criminologist, my starting point is the mismatch between supply and demand. There are huge waiting lists of people wanting organ transplants and a scarcity of donated organs.
Dr Frank Madsen
There are desperately poor villages in Asia where few males between the age of 18 and 50 have two kidneys. This is not for some genetic reason it is because these communities are so impoverished that many men have sold their kidneys in order to raise sums that are unattainable by any other means.
A public talk at Cambridge University on Saturday will draw attention to the extremely difficult and contentious issue of illegal trafficking in human organs and encourage the audience to think about the complex ethical questions involved. It will also be the inaugural lecture in a research programme focusing on the human organ trade.
The lecture Illicit Trade in Organs will be given by Dr Frank Madsen, a Danish-born criminologist who is Deputy Director of the Von Hügel Institute at St Edmunds College, Cambridge. With a distinguished career in the investigation of organised crime, he was head of intelligence at Interpol world headquarters, before working for one of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies as its director of corporate security.
Illicit Trade in Organs will take place at Gonville and Caius College, Bateman Auditorium, on Saturday, 14 May 2011, at 4.30 pm. All welcome, no charge.
Live Kidney Donation In South Africa
Posted on 18 November 2016
South Africa has a dire need for kidney donors. We speak to Jooste Vermeulen, the Organ Donor Foundations director of communications, about the process of donating a kidney to someone in need.
In South Africa at any given moment, there are about 2 500 people waiting for a life-saving organ or tissue transplant, says Jooste. That number does not reflect the true picture, however. The true picture is that we only have a certain amount of life support, such as dialysis, available in the country. While people are waiting for kidneys, these support systems are overloaded, he adds.
In South Africa, in many cases as a result of lifestyle diseases, renal failure is an increasing problem and the need for kidney transplants is huge. Live organ or kidney donations could therefore offer hope to people with renal failure.
How live kidney donations work
Live donations do occur in South Africa, but only among family members, and are usually for kidneys or part of a liver. For example, a mother will give a sick daughter one of her kidneys after a suitability test is performed.
Fortunately, the side effects for kidney donors are minimal, says Jooste. Im a kidney donor myself. I gave a kidney to my child in 2007 and I havent experienced significant health problems after the donation.
Can I donate a kidney to someone not related to me?
Statistics on live donations
More men needed on the system
For more information on signing up, read more here.
Stem Cells In 3d Printing
Stem cells have already been used successfully to 3D print parts of more complex organs, liver and heart tissues. However, these are only small tissues within the organ, rather than the entire functional system.
This should not be seen as a failure. Its actually a success a functional prototype to creating future human organs for transplant.
We can now focus on refining the processes used in the creation of 3D printed skin, body parts, and organs. Eventually, we may even be able to create a 3D printed brain.
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Why Are The Kidneys So Important
Most people know that a major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body. These waste products and excess fluid are removed through the urine. The production of urine involves highly complex steps of excretion and re-absorption. This process is necessary to maintain a stable balance of body chemicals.
The critical regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content is performed by the kidneys. The kidneys also produce hormones that affect the function of other organs. For example, a hormone produced by the kidneys stimulates red blood cell production. Other hormones produced by the kidneys help regulate blood pressure and control calcium metabolism.
The kidneys are powerful chemical factories that perform the following functions:
- remove waste products from the body
- remove drugs from the body
- balance the body’s fluids
- release hormones that regulate blood pressure
- produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
- control the production of red blood cells
Below you will find more information about the kidneys and the vital role they play in keeping your body functioning.
What Is Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease
It is a rare disease that occurs in 1 out of 700-1,000 individuals. Globally, there are over 12.5 million such cases, but only a fourth of them are believed to be aware of their condition.
Even so, as inherited kidney disorders go, ADPKD is among the most common. It is also one of the most common causes of end-stage kidney disease .
Numerous cysts grow in the kidneys, and the most common symptoms include pain in the back and between the ribs and hips, headaches, blood in the urine, high blood pressure, and kidney insufficiency.
Though a kidney disease, ADPKD can affect other organ systems leading to a multisystem disorder. Organs that can be affected include the liver, pancreas, prostrate and glands of the male reproductive tract.
The American non-profit National Organisation for Rare Diseases says ADPKD was earlier known as adult polycystic kidney disease, since it usually occurs in the fourth or fifth decade of life but it has been reported in children and infants as well.
ADPKD is caused by inherited mutations in one of the two genes that create proteins for the proper functioning of the kidneys and other parts of the body.
Even so, the precise role that these proteins play in the proper functioning of the kidney is not fully understood. Researchers believe they help in the development of tubes and blood vessels in the kidneys and other organs, and in increasing the flow of calcium through cell membranes.
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How Will I Pay For A Transplant
Medicare covers about 80% of the costs associated with an evaluation, transplant operation, follow-up care, and anti-rejection medicines. Private insurers and state programs may cover some costs as well. However, your post-transplant expenses may only be covered for a limited number of years. Its important to discuss coverage with your social worker, who can answer your questions or direct you to others who can help.
How Much Does Kidney Transplant Cost
The organs found in our body each plays a vital role in our life. However, people do abusive things which result in a failure of these organs. One of these organs is the kidney. There are at least two ways to treat your kidney once it fails a dialysis or transplant. A lot of people prefer a kidney transplant since it gives them a better life quality, unlike dialysis.
In a kidney transplant, your old kidney will be replaced with a healthy one to do its job. It is better to talk to a patient who had a kidney transplant if you are planning to have one. You should also take to your doctor about it. But how much does kidney transplant cost?
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We Vary Quite A Lot On The Inside And That Can Be A Blessing For Instance If You Have A Large Liver You Can Save More Than One Life
How significant are the individual differences inside us? We have different noses and the size and colour of our eyes vary. But do our intestines, kidneys, hearts and livers look alike? Or do their sizes, weight and colours differ from one person to another?
We asked Inge Morild, a pathologist and professor at the University of Bergen.
Different on the inside
Internal differences are just as big as external ones, both in shape and size. There are also a variety of colours, says Morild.
Most of us have the same basic gear and everything is placed in the same internal spots. But already at birth this body equipment differs individually.
The size, shape and colour of internal organs can vary.
Twice the size
Consider two new-born boys crying out as they take their first breaths. They both might weigh 3,500 grams. Their inner organs are probably the same size too.
These tiny bodies will become adults with much greater differences on the inside as well as they outside.
If one grows up to be a skinny 60 kilo wimp and the other becomes a 120 kilo bruiser, their inner organs will grow correspondingly, explains Morild.
A large heart
The big man can have a heart that is twice the size of the smaller guy, he continues.
Several of our organs are adapted to the size of our bodies in this way. The brain is the organ that is most alike in all of us.
The male human brain weighs an average of 1,450 grams and womens brains average 1,300 grams.
Colours on the inside
Its a light grey.
Pig Kidneys Transplanted To Human In Milestone Experiment
Experts predict that such nonhuman-to-human xenotransplants may become a viable option within the next decade
Its an exciting time to be an organ transplant physician. Just two weeks ago, doctors in Baltimore reported completingthe first successful transfer of a pig heart into a living human patient. Now pig kidneys might be just around the corner.
In late September 2021a team of researchers transplanted a gene-edited pigs two kidneys into the body of a person who had undergone brain death in a procedure designed to fully simulate clinical transplantation. Once inserted, the new kidneys sustained blood flow and even produced urine until the study ended 77 hours later. The results were published on Thursday in the American Journal of Transplantation.
It really demonstrated that we have the infrastructure to be able to do this, says the new studys lead surgeon Jayme Locke, a transplant surgeon at the University of Alabama at Birmingham . The investigations standardized process is going to be just as important as demonstrating that the pig kidneys are viable in humans.
For the first time ever, I feel like I will see xenotransplantation in my career, Segev says. I dont say that lightly.
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What Are The Advantages Of Living Donation Over Deceased Donation
Kidney transplants performed from living donors may have several advantages compared to transplants performed from deceased donors:
D Printed Kidneys: A New Medical Frontier
Though in its infancy, we do have the technology, that with a lot of refining and improvement, should be able to 3D print viable human kidneys. We know from previous research creating liver tissues, bladders, and skin grafts, that 3D printing living cells into tissues is possible and can be done on a small scale.
Now, we need to improve it to be able to create entire organs, rather than just miniature versions or tissues that form a small part of the organ.
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Astrazeneca: More Than 70%
Evans said it was harder to ascertain a figure for AstraZenecas vaccine because late-stage trials used differing study designs, and a large US study was ongoing. The FDA also has not yet presented the data for the shot in the same way it has done for other vaccines.
A single dose of AstraZenecas shot was 76% effective at protecting against COVID-19 with symptoms for at least 90 days, according to late-stage-trial data on February 19. The study authors also reported that one dose provided 100% protection against hospitalization, but the numbers were small.
Based on his reading of existing studies, Evans said the single-dose efficacy for AstraZenecas vaccine was probably at least 70% against COVID-19 with symptoms for the first 90 days. After this time period, its unclear, he said.
Kidneys On Special Offer
Organ trafficking is booming around the globe. While the system isnt easy to figure out, one thing is certain: the rich are benefiting at the expense of the poor.
Wiru is 12 years old and lives in a small village in India. There, three hours south of Delhi, theres a good chance of being able to buy a child like him. Wiru cost 2,500 rupees, or about 37 euros . Since then, he has been working in a factory where he glues together fake Gucci bags. He has to make 200 bags a day or else hell be in trouble with his owner.
When Im big, Im going to be rich, said Wiru. Then Im going to sell one of my kidneys and I wont have to work here anymore.
His father, whom he hasnt seen for three years, did the same thing, according to Wiru.
Word has spread throughout the slums of Indias big cities that there is a chance to escape poverty. On the black market, a kidney is worth about 55,000 rupees , which is a fortune for many Indians. The country has prohibited the trade in human organs and raised the punishment from two to five years in prison, but that has hardly acted as a deterrent. The business is too lucrative. The risk of being caught isnt great, either, the more so because the donor just has to pose as the recipients friend and declare the money paid for the organ as a gift. In this respect, the inquiry by an official government agency into the motives of the donation is only a farce.
Kidneys in India are a particularly good bargain
The organ trafficking mafia
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Your Womb: Between $20000 And $25000
Surrogacy is still a controversial issue in the U.S.not all states recognize the practicedespite a slew of celebrities who’ve admitted to paying someone to carry their child.
Women can make between $20,000 and $25,000 to carry another’s child, according to Newsweek:
“Surrogates challenge our most basic ideas about motherhood, and call into question what we’ve always thought of as an unbreakable bond between mother and child. It’s no wonder many conservative Christians decry the practice as tampering with the miracle of life, while far-left feminists liken gestational carriers to prostitutes who degrade themselves by renting out their bodies.”
Current 3d Printed Kidney Projects
We have already previously written about CollPlants work in our 3D bioprinting feature story, as they work towards producing 3D printed lungs that can be transplanted into living patients.
Theyre also working on 3D printable kidneys, with a recent CollPlant and United Therapeutics collaboration stating that theyre working on reducing the need for future kidney transplants, expanding from just lungs and also into bioprinted kidneys.
Bioprinted mini kidneys have also been produced, but these are for drug testing rather than with the aim to transplant them into patients.
In Harvard, researchers 3D printed tiny cell walls of proximal tubules from stem cells that form the part of the kidney that reabsorbs nutrients, and directs waste away. These 3D printed parts of the kidney can be used for research and study, though the long-term view is that these technologies could be used for eventual 3D printed kidney transplants.
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According To Doctors At The Hospital The Only Two Instances Of Kidneys Heavier Than This Being Removed Are From The United States And The Netherlands
Doctors at Delhis Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have removed what is believed to be the largest kidney in India and the third-largest in the world, from a 56-year-old man suffering from a genetic disorder called Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease .
The kidney weighed 7.4 kg , and measured 32 cm x 21.8 cm. A human kidney on average weighs between 120 grams and 150 grams.
According to doctors at the hospital, the only two instances of kidneys heavier than this being removed are from the United States and the Netherlands .
The Guinness Book of Records, however, acknowledges a 4.25 kg kidney removed from an ADKPD patient at a Dubai hospital in 2017 as the heaviest ever.
How Much Are Your Body Parts Worth
Basically, human life is priceless, but there are places in this world where you can give life a price tag. Depending on your body part or organ, the average price you get for your innards on the black market is about the following. When it comes to prices, its obviously better to think twice about whether you want to sell something of your body as you would not really earn that much.
|Organ / Body Part|
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What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone may be treated with shockwave lithotripsy, uteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithomy or nephrolithotripsy. Common symptoms include severe pain in lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.
Urine has various wastes dissolved in it. When there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals begin to form. The crystals attract other elements and join together to form a solid that will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine. Usually, these chemicals are eliminated in the urine by the bodys master chemist: the kidney. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate.
After it is formed, the stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Sometimes, tiny stones move out of the body in the urine without causing too much pain. But stones that dont move may cause a back-up of urine in the kidney, ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. This is what causes the pain.