The Millennium ExperienceChronicle of the Future

The beat goes on

20.08.28: HEART SPECIALISTS have performed the world's first walk-in coronary bypass operation.

The patient, Peter Dubrovsky, who went into hospital yesterday to become the first person to receive the revolutionary bio-bypass, was home in time for tea. While he was under local anaesthetic, specially prepared genes were injected into the heart muscle.

'The arteries in Peter's heart were badly furred up,' says Dr Pedro Hernandez of Columbia University Hospital. 'Until recently the only option was a major surgical operation to replace them with blood vessels from his leg or with new xenovessels, specially grown in animals.'

The genes that Dr Hernandez inserted 'code for' a hormone known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which stimulates blood vessel growth. Over the next few months the genes will trigger the growth of new blood vessels that will wind around the clogged up ones.

New techniques are transforming the treatment of heart dis