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Lab-grown body parts

The world of science fiction continues to overlap with reality, offering previously unfathomable options. Science can now grow needed body parts – from the recipient’s own cells – and implant those generated body parts into the person.

A study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina generated fully functional vaginas for young women who suffered from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a genetic condition, where the vagina and uterus are partially or fully unformed. The condition affects 1 in every 5,000 females. Eight years after the implant, the women reported physiological and psychological success.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.