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First complete 'bionic man' unveiled in U.K.

With his realistic face and functional artificial blood-circulatory system, a $1 million artificial human on display in London is a sight to see.

Channel 4/David King

He's got blood flowing through him, but he sure isn't human. Meet Rex, the world's first complete "bionic man."

Rex has the face of a man; prosthetic limbs; a functional artificial blood-circulatory system; and artificial organs including a pancreas, kidney, spleen, and trachea. At 6.5-feet tall, Rex is valued at a whopping $1 million.

Created for the TV documentary series "How to Build a Bionic Man," Rex was constructed by a team of roboticists. The researchers say they wanted to test scientific boundaries and demonstrate how modern science is beginning to catch up with sci-fi in the race to replace body parts with man-made alternatives.

In the future, people may be able to fix a failing organ without having a transplant. The agonizing wait for a matching donor could be a thing of the past.

Bertolt Meyer, a social psychologist at the University of Zurich, was in London with other researchers to demonstrate how the bionic man works.

"One of my personal favorites is the artificial blood that runs through these tubings, because this is made of nanoparticles that are able to bind oxygen and give them off, just like real blood can do, but this isn't real blood, this is nanoparticles," Meyer told reporters yesterday.

"Also the fact that they are very close to an implantable artificial kidney that will actually be able to replace a failing kidney without the necessity of a kidney transplant. So think of the great benefits technology like that would bring. I knew fairly much about prosthetic limbs apparently, but what we are close to accomplishing in terms of artificial organs -- I find that absolutely mind boggling."

Rex is on display as part of a free exhibit called "How Much of You Can Be Rebuilt?" at the Science Museum in London. The exhibit runs through March 11.

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