Surgery: Toward a Substitute Liver

If a man's liver stops working, he soon lapses into a deep coma and usually dies within a few weeks. Drugs offer little help, and transplants are all but hopeless. Even if the rejection mechanism could be overcome, there would still be the crucial problem of supply, which can only be met by cadavers; unlike kidney donors, who have a second kidney to keep them going, no man can donate his liver and live. But the liver has a remarkable ability to regenerate damaged cells and rebuild lost tissue—an ability which suggested...

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