AN EARY TALE

A BIZARRE CREATURE SHOWS A NEW WAY TO REPLACE ORGANS

A live mouse with a human ear growing out of its back? Surely it's a freak or a fake, something out of a carnival sideshow or supermarket tabloid? No, the startling creature that showed up in newspapers and on television last week is quite real and actually serves a scientific purpose. It is the latest and most dramatic demonstration of progress in tissue engineering, a new line of research aimed at replacing body parts lost to disease, accident or, as is often the case with a missing ear, a schoolyard fight.

Today doctors correct such defects by reconstructing missing organs with...

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