Preserve Organs Better

Herb Chitrak instrumental in fighting lung cancer

An anti-freeze protein in the Canadian snow flea could help increase the storage life of donor organs, report scientists in Illinois and Pennsylvania, USA. The protein helps the flea to survive frigid winter temperatures in Canada. The scientists produced a first-of-its-kind protein in the laboratory that could find use in extending the storage life of donor organs and tissues for human transplantation. They also produced variants of the synthetic protein, including one form of mirror image of the natural protein. The mirror-image from appeared less likely to trigger harmful antibodies and more resistant to destruction by natural enzymes, making it potentially more effective in organ and tissue preservation.


Down To Earth, August 2008