The printer heads hum into action, warming to the huge task at hand like it's nothing. To them it is nothing. Every day occurance. Their job.
Printing body parts.
Organovo has developed a 3D bio-printer, the first of which are on their way to research groups around the country (see The Economist, 'Making a bit of me'). The machine will begin with the simple stuff--you know, skin, muscle, blood vessels--easy. But, eventually, Organovo predicts doctors will be able to print kidneys and hearts in situ--that's right, inside the body.
Ok, so the medical implications are obvious--no more waiting for on long transplant lists, no more worries of your body rejecting someone else's organs, survival of fetuses that before were not viable.
But this is a writing blog! And the implications for mystery and science fiction writers is astounding! Look at the possibilities, people! Though, I have to say it is less science fiction than science fact, I see medical mysteries abounding. Machines gone crazy, printing incorrect organs, or crazy misuse of the system. Maybe these printers have biological traits of their own?
The future is here and it is great for writers.
Author Keith Raffel will be answering my questions here tomorrow! Don't miss the interview, and check out his books, Smasher and Dot.Dead.)