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June 19, 2013

Facebook's organ donor status sends registrations soaring

(Continued)

SAN FRANCISCO —

Doctors can save as many as eight lives with a single person's organ donation and more than that with tissue donation, said Cameron. The Institute of Medicine estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 people who would make good donors are lost due to lack of consent, according to a 2006 report.

"The question is, when do we see an impact of a campaign like this?" Cameron said. "Probably not for many years. It will take years and years for the cohort to live their lives and pass away."

This isn't the first research on Facebook's networking effect. A single message sent to 60 million people on Facebook may have encouraged about 340,000 extra votes in the 2010 U.S. election, according to a paper published in September in Nature. Facebook is also working with the suicide prevention group SAVE.org to boost research into the mindset of people who harm themselves.

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