Ostriches May Improve Heart Bypass Surgery

Arteries from long, thin neck are the key
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2012 3:43 PM CST
Ostriches May Improve Heart Bypass Surgery
Ostriches may someday play a key role in heart bypass surgery.   (AP Photo/dapd/Andreas ProstB)

Japanese researchers have used arteries from the long necks of ostriches to perform successful bypass surgery in pigs, reports AFP. In a few years, they hope to duplicate the feat with humans, reports the Asahi Shimbun. The researchers used the arteries to "construct artificial pathways" in the pigs, and they might prove more efficient than current substitutes, especially in terms of clotting. "Ostriches are good as they provide a stable supply of narrow and long vessels," says a scientist with Japan's National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center. (More ostrich stories.)

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