I'm sure most of you will have read about the stem cell break through in the news this morning – a nice example of a collaboration, across disciplines and countries. A team from Bristol, Barcelona, Padua and Milan have advanced the area of tissue engineering and transplanted a windpipe made from donor cartilage seeded with the patients own stem cells.
An interesting addendum to the story has also been published, which gives an amusing, if not-cautionary tale of how collaboration can add layers of complications onto any project – in this instance a logistical one.
Apparently the crucial stem cells had to be flown from Bristol to Barcelona for the operation and this had been pre-agreed by Easyjet. But on the day the day
check-in staff refused, leading to the medics having to charter a private jet for
£14,000 to make sure the implant arrived in time. The whole story is on the BBC website.
Not sure if this tells us more about low-cost airlines or collaboration – but i think there is a serious point to be tweaked out here! Collaboration is difficult and can be costly in time and money. In this case the pay-pack made it worthwhile – but sometimes and when you are at the beginning of the process, it can be difficult to convince others that this is the case.