Pin Me

What Is a Wetware Hacker?

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 7/23/2008

A wetware hacker is a name given to a person who uses live organisms, tissues, and combines them with informatics and technology.

  • slide 1 of 1

    A wetware hacker is a name given to a person who uses live organisms, tissues, and combines them with informatics and technology.

    Wetware hackers can prepare newer forms of useful biological or technological designs, which can be used either for the body or become useful in devising new devices, or making existing ones more useful.

    One of the most common successes that wetware hackers have had is in the domain of cosmetology or plastic surgery. They have been able to match tissue from other parts of the body, and with the help of computer simulated images, they have been able to reconstruct faces and limbs, thus restoring a certain amount of normalcy to the individual concern.

    Cosmetology today is a multibillion dollar industry, thanks to these wet hackers, who found that tissue matching helped in grafting tissues from the same person and putting it elsewhere.  More significantly, this method led to an unexpected bonus. In tissue matching, it was found that some individuals, most probably an outsider, could donate tissues or organs to another to help them live a better life.

    The transplant of corneas from dead patients is perhaps one of the best examples of wetware hacker. In recent times, the harvesting of organs from the dead bodies “within the golden hours” has led to the establishment of organ banks from where kidneys, corneas, liver, etc., have been successfully transplanted to those who need them most. Tissue typing or matching helped these organ harvesting and transplants.

    It is believed, and scientifically proven that tissues can be matched with another tissue from another person, even though they may have no other connection, such as genetic code matches, which could still help the auto immune system of the recipient body to accept the ‘outsider’ tissue within itself.

    Once this concept of wet hackers caught on, it was only a matter of time of trial and error which brought forth the how and why of tissue rejection or acceptance took place. Once the negative traits of tissue matching came through, experiments on the rejections brought forward drugs that helped the tissue cultures to merge with each other, thus reducing the chances of rejection. It is not as yet failsafe. Yet, with research continuing, there is light at the end of the tunnel.