Posts tagged medicine
Stained sections of lung tissue from the Flickr set ‘Pulmonary Pathology’ by Yale Rosen: (1) nests of neuroendocrine tumor cells; (2) ‘foci of benign-appearing spindle-shaped and oval cells’ (3) acid-fast stain of an infection by Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare, a relative of tuberculosis.
personally, i am normally pretty grossed out by biology, but these samples are striking.
This week in Discovery News we found a planet that might be a good neighbor, but are we too clingy? Plus, we’ll soon be growing spare parts from our own cells and a recap of our live coverage of Felix Baumgartners jump.
Thanks for watching This Week in Discovery News, if you have any ideas on how to make this video better, let me know! - Trace
do you have an organ you’d like to replace?
perhaps your weekend activities may require a spare liver?
your sports interest may want replacement knees?
how about popping in new eyes as you get older?
Within a generation, there may be no limit to the kinds of organs and body parts that can be created from scratch.
Various groups of scientists have recently created thyroid cells in the lab, grown a new ear in the skin a woman’s own arm, and won a Nobel Prize for figuring out how to reprogram cells so that they can turn into a variety of cell types.
One hope is to make donor organs obsolete, or at least far less necessary, eliminating long waiting lists for transplants. By using a patient’s own cells, the new wave of regenerative medicine also circumvents ethical arguments and reduces the chance that recipients will reject their new parts.
Theresa Klein talks about Achilles, the first machine to move in a biologically accurate way.
“Our robot, named Achilles, is the first to walk in a biologically accurate way. That means it doesn’t just move like a person, but also sends commands to the legs like the human nervous system does.
Each leg has eight muscles—Kevlar straps attached to a motor on one end and to the plastic skeleton on the other. As the motor turns, it pulls the strap, mimicking the way our muscles contract. Some of Achilles’ muscles extend from the hip or thigh to the lower leg so they can project forces all the way down the limb. This allows us to put most of the motors in the hips and thighs. Placing them up high keeps the lower leg light, so that it can swing quickly like a human’s lower leg.
In people, neurons in the spinal column send out rhythmic signals that control our legs. It’s like a metronome, and sensory feedback from the legs alters the pace. Your brain can step in to make corrections, but it doesn’t explicitly control every muscle, which is essentially why you can walk without thinking about it. For our robot, a computer program running off an external PC controls movement in a similar way. With each step, the computer sends a signal to flex one hip muscle and extend the other. The computer changes the timing of those signals based on feedback from the legs’ load and angle sensors. A similar control system handles the lower muscles.
Modeling human movement has applications outside of robotics. It could also help us understand how people recover after spinal-cord injuries, for example. But our robot is still a very simplified model—it has no torso and can’t handle complex terrain. Initially, we also had a problem with its feet slipping. We thought about different types of rubber to give its feet more grip but eventually realized a solution already exists. Now, the robot wears a pair of Keds.”
i like the diagram, it’s so classic looking.
if it’s wearing Keds it better be wearing tube socks…
New research today from the Department of Oh My God Why Does This Study Have To Exist — turns out, vaccinating teenage girls against HPV won’t cause them to go from innocent children drawing pictures of flowers with crayons to unstoppable sexzillas. Sort of like how wearing seatbelts doesn’t cause car accidents, or how wearing sunscreen doesn’t cause skin cancer. But will the study convince reticent parents to abandon their ass-backwards logic and actually acknowledge that their daughters’ sexuality will someday exist?
The study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, showed that there was no evidence that girls who are given the Gardasil vaccine against HPV respond by going out and hopping on the nearest guy. Instead, girls who receive the vaccine have similar sexual trajectories to their unvaccinated peers — except the girls who are vaccinated get the bonus of being protected from a deadly and preventable form of cancer when they do have sex.
i know this was talked about, but was this an actual worry?
seriously, was someone out there concerned that one thing keeping young women from becoming sex-crazed man-eaters was a cancer vaccine?
all in all, an interesting study on social behavior of those who have concern for future sexual health versus those who may not.
i will now have the jurassic park soundtrack in my head the rest of the day.
In “Jurassic Park,” scientists extract 80-million-year-old dino DNA from the bellies of mosquitoes trapped in amber.
DNA’s half-life at 521 years, meaning half of the DNA bonds would be broken down 521 years after death, and half of the remaining bonds would be decayed another 521 years after that, and so on.
Thus, 65 million year old dinosaur DNA would have decayed to essentially squat.
John Hammond will never say (twice), “We have a T-Rex.”
they don’t grow them like they used to.
When an animal grows back a missing body part, the replacement is not as good as the original.
The researchers determined that the new tails have a single, long tube of cartilage instead of vertebrae, as in the original. Long muscles also span the length of the regenerated tail compared to shorter muscle fibers found in the original.
Sherrie Walters had an aggressive form of basal cell cancer, which required her to have a part of her ear, skull, and ear canal removed. Doctors at John Hopkins were able to use rib cartilage to build an entire new ear. She had to grow her new ear under the skin of her arm for a few months.
Check out the link for more pictures! I left some of the more gruesome ones out, to protect the squeamish. While it may seem gross at first, this is pretty amazing stuff.
Did you get a chance to see my post about Stelarc’s Third Ear?
“When we infect the plant, it just produces massive amounts of our desired protein.”
sounds like a superplant to me.
With flu season only a sneeze away, the vaccines that swell arms across North America this year will still be made with chicken eggs. However, flu pandemic could call a Canadian biopharma company into action. In clinical trials now, their method uses tobacco plants to produce flu vaccines affordably in weeks rather than months.
nikography asked: hi, in this post: "neurosciencestuff-a-ct-scanner-uses-radiation" of yours, there is a very angry boy on the internet who thinks the top image is NOT a CT scanner, but an MRI instead. can you clear this up and explain? thanks.
The top image is an MRI scanner. It uses magnetic fields and is essentially a giant coil. The patient is likely about to get a brain scan (awesome).
The bottom image, however, is a CT scanner which uses X-Ray machines and receivers to accomplish a similar goal of looking within the human body.
The major difference is the CT scanner has to spin rapidly to produce a picture. Here’s a video of that happening:
Crazy stuff, right?
They are not the same machine, but I can see the confusion for neurosciencestuff as they are both doughnut-shaped scanning machines…
Thanks for asking for clarification!
As an aside, I now know more about medical scanning equipment than I ever thought I would need to. I love this job.