It's hard to think of any recent scientific breakthroughs that are as as viscerally exciting as the artificial heart.

A 65-year-old Quebec man who received a new long-term mechanical heart last month is being described as the only living Canadian without a pulse.

Dr. Renzo Cecere implanted the “Heartmate II” mechanical heart into Gerard Langevin in an three-hour operation Nov. 23.

Officials at the McGill University Health Centre say the device, which is about the size of a flashlight battery, could last up to 10 years. ...

The new mechanical heart, which is powered by batteries located in pouches on Mr. Langevin's body, provides a continuous flow of blood so the patient has no pulse.

“Mr. Langevin happens to be the only individual currently living in Canada without a pulse and without a measurable blood pressure,” Dr. Cecere said Wednesday.

That's amazing, and it's pretty hard to argue that Gerard Langevin isn't a cyborg in the fullest sense of the word. Once we've perfected artificial blood we'll really be in business.

So how long until someone has an organ replaced by an implant not because it's medically necessary, but simply because the artificial version is better? I say 10 years, before we get to the moon again.

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