TED Talk. Andrew Pelling: Making ears from apples


„My lab is not in the ear-making business. What I’m really curious about is if one day it will be possible to repair, rebuild and augment our own bodies with stuff we make in the kitchen,” says Andrew Pelling who leads a university-based biological research lab. Usually, he likes to rummage through garbage and often digs up discarded hardware he first dismantles and then reassembles into something completely new. Could that also work with a biological system? Creating human ears from apples may be far-fetched, but seems feasible: the lab removed apple cells and DNA and implanted human cells instead. The result was a cellulose scaffold with a structure that could be carved into a human ear!

Andrew Pelling is a scientist, professor and entrepreneur. At the University of Ottawa he founded and directs a curiosity-driven research lab that brings together artists, scientists, social scientists and engineers. The lab implements low-cost, open source materials and methods, has created human body parts made from plants and grown living skins on LEGO…

Header image: Screenshot taken from the ©TED video.