/ Experts


What is behind stem cells


Are scientists capable of creating an artificial body and doubling or tripling the length of our lives? How can stem cells save your life but also sometimes take it away? We discussed these and many other questions with Ph.D. biologist and inventor of the bioartificial liver device, professor Vyacheslav Ryabinin.


Russia 2045: At the end of 2010, the famous inventor and futurist Raymond Kurzweil announced that an artificial human body will be built by the year 2045. Better-functioning artificial organs will replace many of the current normal biological ones. What do you think: is that a possibility?


Vyacheslav Ryabinin: Artificial organs are being created in an attempt to extend patients’ lives until they can receive transplants of donor organs. Vigorous work on such projects is being done throughout the world, and a lot of success is being had. There are already prototypes of artificial hearts. They are not yet being implanted into people but rather carried on carts that move alongside the patient. Liver function is fulfilled by the well-known hemodialysis devices. In the U.S. such devices are being installed even in people’s homes.

The liver is without a doubt one of the most complex organs. Tens of thousands of chemical reactions take place inside it. And its central function—detoxication, or neutralization of various toxins—can already be reproduced. Many scientists, in Japan, in the U.S., have done work in that area.


Russia 2045: Is it possible to treat a terminally ill organ using cellular technologies?


V.R.: Interesting studies have been done on that. For instance, an extremely interesting approach has been taken in working with the pancreas at the National Scientific Center for Transplantology and Artificial Organs in Moscow. They transplant pancreatic cells of new-born rabbits into ill patients. In those studies, the insulin dosage needed by insulin-dependent diabetics decreases, and, most importantly, other effects of diabetes that are typically present even in patients undergoing insulin therapy do not develop. There is a whole range of effects that neutralize the complications in those beta cells.


Russia 2045: How much potential is there for using stem cells to help create artificial organs?


V.R.: Stem cells have a unique attribute: They transform into one or another tissue depending on the microenvironment they’re in. Stem cells received their name from their resemblance to the stem of a plant, out of which branches grow in different directions. Similarly, from stem cells you can create liver, blood or any other kind of cells. There is currently a lot of progress being made on a method of treatment based around implanting stem cells in people. The cells locate the affected organ on their own, make their way to it and begin to repair it.


Russia 2045: If you take the progress that has been made over the last 20 years . . .


V.R.: An enormous amount has been done!


Russia 2045: . . . and try to picture what the future holds, what kind of developments do you expect in this area over the next 20 years?


V.R.: Over the last 10 years, an enormous leap has been made—especially outside Russia. It has become possible to isolate stem cells of any specific type in bone marrow and, using special inductor-like mechanisms, steer their growth in one way or another. You can turn them into bone tissue, into cartilage, even into heart tissue. When such experiments were done in which “heart inductors” were present, stem cells gathered into a colony and began to produce the rhythm of a heartbeat.

In Russia we’ve been growing bone tissue from stem cells since the 1970s. They make cartilage at the Institute of Traumatology in Kurgan. At many laboratories they’ve learned how to grow artificial skin for treating burns, wounds and various other post-operative blemishes. It’s difficult even to predict how things will be 10 years from now. I see cellular technologies as being one of the areas with the most potential from the standpoint of creating bio-artificial systems of some kind.


Russia 2045: Do you think, when it comes down to it, that it’s possible to create an artificial body?


V.R.: The entire trajectory of scientific progress shows that that which we once considered impossible is becoming possible. Who could have imagined that hands and legs could begin to walk due to the firing of corresponding impulses? Progress is being made not at arithmetic but at exponential rates.


Russia 2045: Where do you think this progress will lead us?


V.R.: What is there that calms the heart?


Russia 2045: Yes. About 20 years from now.

V.R.: It will become possible to restore a person back to health after a serious injury. For example, after an injury to the spinal cord, a person is condemned to a vegetative state. But when you implant stem cells, 40-50% of people return to normal life.


Russia 2045: Despite the fact that the world has changed dramatically over the last 100 years, there are almost no major discoveries made in the world of science today. Investments are made not into fundamental research but into the development of technology that is in one way or another related to consumer culture. Incredible progress was made in telephony; the Internet appeared. But we are still not able to combat many serious illnesses, withstand radiation, or fly in outer space farther than the orbit of our own planet! Why is this so? What needs to be done in order for true innovation to take place?


V.R.: Kapitsa Senior once said that there’s nothing more beneficial than fundamental research. Everyone knows that. The basis of any innovation is fundamental research. But who is doing it? Scientists do it. And where do scientists come from? From universities. And right now the Law on Education that is being passed will, pardon the expression, castrate the entire education system, on both the levels of secondary and higher education.

Beginning this September, the number of people in my department is being cut in half. What do you need to know chemistry for? Let it go. But you can’t master biochemistry, pharmacology, and so on without chemistry. Everything is connected. The academic curricula for the study of human physiology, anatomy, foreign language, etc., are being significantly curtailed. Who decided that should happen? There is no architect. They did not include university presidents, let alone teaching staffs, in discussion of the law or in changes made to academic programs. But what budget savings they produced! Where will these innovations come from, though, without people who can generate ideas?


Russia 2045: We have an idea to create a scientific center that would bring together scientists to work on the project of creating an artificial human body. The first area of work for such a center would be extending the longevity of our body in the typical sense of the word. The second area of focus would be developing other ways to extend life. The overarching goal of the project would be to create an artificial body. How achievable do you think this goal is?


V.R.: I think that it’s interesting and quite realistic. If you acquire new innovations of some kind for the center and find investors, then of course there is sense in doing it.


Russia 2045: The integration of technologies into the world at large will inevitably spur the creation of a large number of as-of-yet unforeseeable secondary discoveries and technologies, possibly in new fields of science. Where do you think it would be best to build such a center?

V.R.: Only in a place where it will receive ongoing financing. We have quite a lot of talented people here. You can find both people who can generate ideas and people who are good at executing. So building such centers is absolutely a good thing. And Skolkovo also plays a positive role. It reminds me of the small science towns—conferences, discussions, and seminars are constantly being held there. The specialists interact, and everyone is together. You invent something, then go across the road where the grease monkeys work, and you say, “Vasya! Make me one of these little thingies!” Problems are solved a lot faster.

Communications infrastructure is also very important. After all, in the Russian Far East there are also wonderful scientific institutes, not to mention Tomsk, where the largest innovation hubs are located. But how do you communicate? It’s difficult!


Russia 2045: Would you be interested in working on that?


V.R.: I can happily answer questions, provide opinions on topics I’m knowledgeable about, and lend my expertise.


Russia 2045: The project will be called “2045”. We, on the one hand, have given ourselves a little spare time that will help to change civilization technologically, and on the other hand, the famous futurist Kurzweil indicates that year in his prediction, but from yet another perspective . . .


V.R.: No one will hold us responsible for that!


Russia 2045: And if we all end up living to be 200-300 years old?


V.R.: Then, of course, everything will have to be answered for!

Other author's articles:



International Manifesto of the "2045" Strategic Social Initiative

Mankind has turned into a consumer society standing at the edge of a total loss of the conceptual guidelines necessary for further evolution. The majority of people are almost exclusively absorbed  in merely maintaining their own comfortable lives.

Modern civilization, with its space stations, nuclear submarines, iPhones and Segways cannot save mankind from the limitations in the physical abilities of our bodies, nor from diseases and death.

We are not satisfied with modern achievements of scientific and technical progress. Science working for the satisfaction of consumer needs will not be able to ensure a technological breakthrough towards a radically different way of life.

We believe that the world needs a different ideological paradigm. Within its framework it is necessary to form a major objective  capable of pointing out a new direction for the development of all mankind and ensuring the achievement of a scientific and technical revolution.

The new ideology should assert, as one of its priorities, the necessity of using breakthrough technology for an improvement of man himself and not only of his environment.

We believe that it is possible and necessary to eliminate aging and even death, and to overcome the fundamental limits of the physical and mental capabilities currently set by the restrictions of the physical body.

Scientists from various countries in the world are already developing technology that ensures the creation of an artificial human body prototype within the next decade. We believe the biggest technological project of our times will become the creation of such artificial human body and a subsequent transfer of individual human consciousness to such a body.

Implementation of this technological project will inevitably result in an explosive development of innovations and global changes in our civilization  and will improve human life.

We believe that before 2045 an artificial body will be created that will not only surpass the existing body in terms of functionality, but will achieve perfection of form and be no less attractive than the human body. People will make independent decisions about the extension of their lives and the possibilities for personal development in a new body after the resources of the biological body have been exhausted.

The new human being will receive a huge range of abilities and will be capable of withstanding extreme external conditions easily: high temperatures, pressure, radiation, lack of oxygen, etc. Using a neural-interface humans will be able to operate several bodies of various forms and sizes remotely.

We suggest the implementation of not just a mechanistic project to create an artificial body, but a whole system of views, values and technology which will render assistance to humankind in intellectual, moral, physical, mental and spiritual development.

We invite all interested specialists: scientists, politicians, mass media personalities, philosophers, futurologists and businessmen to join the "2045" strategic social initiative. We welcome all who share our vision of the future and are ready to make the next jump.


The main objectives of our movement are:

1. To achieve the support of the International community and create conditions for international co-operation of interested specialists around the "2045" Initiative.  

2. To create an international research center for cybernetic immortality to advance practical implementations of the main technical project – the creation of the artificial body and the preparation for subsequent transfer of individual human consciousness to such a body.
3. To engage experts in the selection and support of the most interesting projects in the quest to ensure technological breakthroughs.

4. To support innovative industries and create special scientific education programs for schools and institutes of higher education.

5. To create educational programs for television, radio and internet, to hold forums, conferences, congresses and exhibitions, and to establish awards and produce books, movies and computer games with the view of raising the profile of the initiative and spreading its ideas.

6. To form a culture connected with the ideology of the future, promoting technical progress, artificial intellect, “multi-body”, immortality, and cyborgization.

Login as user:

If you are registered on one of these websites, you can get a quick registration. To do this, please select the wesite and follow the instructions.

Login to 2045.com

You do not have login to 2045.com? Register!
Dear colleagues, partners, friends! If you support ​the 2045 strategic social initiative goals and values, please register on our website.

Quick registration:

If you are registered on one of these websites, you can get a quick registration. To do this, please select the wesite and follow the instructions.


Field of activity:
Enter the code shown:

Show another picture

Восстановить пароль


Contact Email:
Attachment ( not greater than 5 Mb. ):
avatar project milestones