Donor organs delivered by drone, model organs on a chip head to space, and reverse Viagra research

First drone delivery of a donated kidney ends with successful transplant

(Susan Scutti, CNN, 5/1/19)

After several test flights transporting saline, blood, and a nonviable kidney, doctors used a drone to transport a donor kidney three miles between hospitals in Baltimore, Maryland. The kidney was successfully transplanted into the 44-year-old patient, who had been on dialysis for eight years while waiting for a kidney. Drone delivery is a promising tool to reduce time spent in transit for donor organs, which need to be used as quickly as possible for the best chance of success. 

Q&A: Organs on a Chip Head to the International Space Station

(Emma Yasinski, The Scientist, 5/1/19)

NASA and the NIH are among those with precious experimental cargo onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, set to launch on Friday, May 3. The payload includes reagents for the Tissue Chips in Space project, which aims to use tissue and organ-on-a-chip models to study the effects of space travel on human physiology. In this Q&A, scientific program manager Lucie Low discusses the experiment and emphasizes that the research will have benefits for people on Earth.

Sex drug ‘effective’ as heart failure treatment

(Medical Xpress, 5/1/19)

A drug for treating impotence has been found to effectively treat heart failure in sheep, according to scientists at the University of Manchester. In their experiment, funded by the British Heart Foundation, the symptoms of heart failure were slowed and even reversed in sheep. Impotence drugs like Viagra were initially developed to treat heart conditions before their use as impotence cures became more popular, so reversing the research was a logical step for cardiovascular research.