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Very First 3D Printed Heart Has Been Created Using Patient’s Own Biological Materials

IN BRIEF

  • The Facts:Tel Aviv University researchers have successfully 3d printed a human heart using the patients own biological materials. Although there is still much research and ‘correcting’ to be done, this is a huge step for medical technology.
  • Reflect On:Although the modern day medical industry is plagued with corruption and fraud, a lot of good exists within it. Human potential is far greater than we know, especially when it comes to curing/preventing/treating disease. Is it about care or money?

The medical industry is quite ‘messed’ up, and this is according to some of the most prominent figures in the field.

This conflict is due to the corporate domination of science, and the truth is, “The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry.” That quote comes from Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), a Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal. (source) There are also many examples displaying the fraud and deceit that run rampant within our federal health regulatory agencies.

Why am I starting this article with this information? Because there is also a flip side. With modern day technology and many medical advancements taking place, the human race actually has tremendous amounts of potential. But in today’s world, advancements that threaten corporate profits never really see the light of day.

For example, if there really was a cure for cancer, but it could not be patented, that would mean that billions of dollars would be lost by big pharma as cancer treatment would be rendered obsolete. It should already be suspicious that chemotherapy and radiation treatment are the only two recommendations that an oncologist can make, despite the fact that so many other treatments are showing tremendous amounts of potential as well.

The Heart Would Match The Patient

One of the more recent and astonishing medical discoveries is an engineered heart that completely matches the immunological, cellular, biochemical and anatomical properties of a patient. This is a major medical breakthrough, and it comes from researchers at Tel Aviv University.

They were able to “print” the world’s first 3D vascularized engineered heart using the patients own cells and biological materials. Their findings were published a couple of weeks ago in Advanced Science.

Never before has a full organ been printed with complete success and been able to be put to use. In regenerative medicine, scientists have only been successful in printing simple tissues without blood vessels.

“This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” says Prof. Tal Dvir of TAU’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, who led the research for the study. (source)

This has tremendous potential, and just imagine if this type of technology was made available to everybody with heart disease! It’s the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States, and heart transplantation is one of the only solutions available. This type of technology could literally provide a new heart without the risks and difficulties associated with a full heart transplant.

Given the money-hungry world we live in, some solutions to problems never see the light of day, even if they prove to be viable. It would be great if the same amount of effort was put into preventative solutions. When it comes to heart disease, for example, a plant-based diet seems to be extremely effective, you can read more about that here. But instead of this, we are looking to find solutions to our problems instead of actually addressing the unhealthy lifestyles that cause these problems in the first place. I thought that was important to mention.

“This heart is made from human cells and patient-specific biological materials. In our process these materials serve as the bioinks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models,” Prof. Dvir says. “People have managed to 3D-print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels. Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future.” (source)

There is still a lot of progress to be made, but again, this is a huge step in the right direction. As Prof Dvir states, “The use of ‘native’ patient-specific materials is crucial to successfully engineering tissues and organs.”

“The biocompatibility of engineered materials is crucial to eliminating the risk of implant rejection, which jeopardizes the success of such treatments,” Prof. Dvir says. “Ideally, the biomaterial should possess the same biochemical, mechanical and topographical properties of the patient’s own tissues. Here, we can report a simple approach to 3D-printed thick, vascularized and perfusable cardiac tissues that completely match the immunological, cellular, biochemical and anatomical properties of the patient.” (source)

The printed heart still needs to be developed further, and they still need to figure out how to make them “behave” like a heart, but perhaps in a decade or even less there will be organ printers in hospitals around the world. Imagine that!

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Science & Technology

A picture from the Internet killed Samsung smartphones

The image from the network led to the breakdown of Samsung smartphones. The image was shared by an insider of Ice Universe on his Twitter.

“Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially on Samsung smartphones,” said the blogger, emphasizing that the image from the Internet can break the device. Despite the warning, Ice Universe made a link to the landscape with an image of a flooded island in the setting sun “for enthusiasts.”

Users of Samsung smartphones in the comments confirmed that the mysterious image can really “kill” the device. In particular, after setting the picture as wallpaper, the phone may reboot or turn off, which is fraught with data loss. The comments explained that the cause of the failure could be an incorrect color profile of the file that the system cannot process.

The author later clarified that Samsung was aware of the problem and had already released a special update. The blogger also published a landscape breaking smartphones on the Chinese Weibo service, noting that when loading the social network automatically changes the color profile of the picture.

Samsung device owners who set the image as wallpaper were advised to remove it through safe mode. If the device does not boot in the selected mode, then a clean installation of Android should be performed on the smartphone.

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The first ever SpaceX rocket launch with crew will be shown online

May 27, 2020 may go down in the history of astronautics as the day when people first reached the orbit of the Earth on aircraft, fully developed by a private company and owned by it. Previously, without the participation of state organizations, people were only launched into suborbital flights.

The SpaceX-created by Elon Mask, a partially reusable heavy Falcon 9 booster rocket and the Crew Dragon passenger ship, should launch today from the launch site at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The task – to deliver to the International Space Station two NASA astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Benken.

Elon Musk tweeted a photograph of the launch site this early morning:

The live broadcast of the launch, which is tentatively scheduled for 16:33 by the east coast of the United States, can be viewed on the official NASA YouTube channel:

As confirmed by CBS News in the press service of the White House, President Donald Trump, despite the ongoing epidemic of COVID-19, decided to personally attend the historic launch and will arrive at Cape Canaveral. Last week, Trump said he was “thinking” about visiting the cosmodrome and added that he would gladly send journalists on a rocket into space to get rid of them for a while. 

True, the start may still be postponed due to bad weather. If the conditions prove to be unfavorable, it will be postponed to the 30th or 31st of May.

The first SpaceX passenger ship, the Crew Dragon, is an evolution of the Dragon transporter, which has recently made several deliveries to the ISS. In total, it can take on board up to 7 crew members, but this time only two will fly, and the rest of the space will be taken by cargo.

The interior of the ship reminds of sci-fi films, and touch screens are used for control, as in electric cars of another company Ilona Mask, Tesla.

The last time the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched its astronauts from the United States on an American spacecraft in July 2011. After the crash of the “space shuttle” Columbia in 2003, it was decided to gradually phase out the shuttle program and focus on developing a new ship that would also be suitable for traveling to the moon.

The first manned space flight, organized by a private company, took place back in 2004 – the SpaceShipOne rocket plane with pilot Brian Bonnie on board, reached a height of 100 km above the surface in a suborbital flight and successfully returned to Earth. For comparison, the altitude of the orbit of the ISS, where the Crew Dragon astronauts go, exceeds 400 km.

SpaceShipOne was developed and launched by Mojave Aerospace Ventures, a joint venture between Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and engineer Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites.

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Scientists have created a robotic eye that is completely similar to human

The developers plan to make it completely autonomous due to power from sunlight.

Scientists have created an artificial eye, the device of which almost completely copies the structure of the human organ of vision. Its diameter is about two centimeters, it has a retina made of nanowires and a lens for focusing light instead of the lens. The article describing the development was published by the scientific journal Nature.

We can see due to the fact that the light that enters the eyes passes inside them through the lens system and enters the photoreceptors in the retina. They convert particles of light into signals that are transmitted to the brain. Scientists have long been trying to reconstruct this complex system to create robots or in order to try to restore lost vision to people.

Another and relatively successful attempt to achieve this was made by scientists led by Zhiyong Fang of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The artificial eye that they created looks like a ball about two centimeters in diameter, filled with a fluid that conducts electric current. The eye of an adult is about the same size, inside it is also filled with a jelly-like liquid.

The device can see thanks to an artificial retina made of photosensitive nanowires. They are made on the basis of perovskite – a hybrid material, which due to its unique structure is now widely used in solar panels. Nanowires react to light and transmit a signal about it further like the photoreceptors of the human eye.

To test whether this eye can see, scientists projected images of several letters onto it. The device successfully recognized the letters I, E, and Y. However, while it creates an image of rather poor quality – about 100 pixels, compared with 120-140 megapixels of the human eye.

For operation, the device needs an external power source. However, scientists plan to make the artificial eye self-contained so that the device works like a small solar cell.

Among other plans of scientists – to check whether it is possible to subculture these nanowires to the human optical nerve. In addition, the developers hope to increase the quality of the picture to the level of the human eye and even surpass it by an order of magnitude.

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