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This article has the potential to bring a whole new context to the study of sound, the workings of the heart and the study of materials. For example, the way the ear turns sound into electrical impulses which go to the brain can be studied by reference to how you could replace these natural parts by spares. In any study of materials at KS3 or 4 reference can be made to this new bioglass discovered by Professor Hench that can bond with human tissue and release ions to stimulate genes to regenerate tissue. What materials are suitable for other spare parts? It is also interesting how this whole field of regenerative medicine involves the collaboration of many different specialists, including biomedical engineers, developmental biologists, gene researchers, material scientists and electrical engineers. Your students might also discuss the consequences of everyone being able to replace everything in the not too distant future. A world of super humans in science fiction could soon be fact - discuss. There is a great deal of information at the Imperial College Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Centre: www.med.ic.ac.ukdivisions8

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