Medicine: Missing a Beat in Washington

The FDA rejects the artificial heart—for now

Heart transplants are sometimes the only hope for people dying of heart disease. But such operations are expensive, donors are scarce, and the recipient's body often rejects the new organ. Fewer than 50 transplants are done in the U.S. each year, and only 50% of patients survive five years. A more dazzling option seemed imminent when researchers from the University of Utah announced last month that they were ready to implant artificial hearts in humans. Only one hurdle remained: permission from the Food and Drug Administration. But...

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