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

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  • 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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The City of Oakland Votes to Ban Facial Recognition

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On Tuesday night, the city council of Oakland, California voted to ban the municipal use of facial recognition technology within its borders.

That makes Oakland the third U.S. city to ban the high-tech surveillance tool and the second to do so in the Bay Area, according to CNET. San Francisco, California banned facial recognition in May and Somerville, Massachusetts followed suit in June. It’s a trend that shows that the people of Silicon Valley are increasingly uncomfortable with the creepy tech developed right in their own neighborhood.

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Rebecca Kaplan, president of Oakland’s city council, argued that facial recognition technology was neither sophisticated enough nor properly regulated to be placed in the hands of police and other law enforcement agencies, per CNET. She also cited how the technology has been used to target minorities and other vulnerable populations.

Oakland police pushed back against the proposed ban, arguing for a watered-down version that would still allow some applications of the technology, according to CBS SF. But the city council went with the original, more restrictive version.

Technically, a final vote with the Oakland City Council is scheduled for September 17, but given how this first vote passed unanimously, it seems likely that the full ban will go into effect.

READ MORE: Facial recognition banned in another city [CNET]

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The first photograph of quantum entanglement has been captured

One of the most enigmatic and fundamental phenomena of nature quantum entanglement has been portrayed for the first time.

quantum entanglement

The phenomenon was a headache for Albert Einstein himself, who characterized it as a “spooky action” because it violated the universe as we know it. It is called quantum entanglement and it happens when two particles separated from each other by a monstrous distance are able to communicate and interact without there being anything, no transmission channel, between the two. This means that if the state of one is altered, the other particle, perhaps millions of kilometers away, will respond in the same way.

Now, a team of physicists from the University of Glasgow has managed to obtain the first visual evidence of this puzzle of quantum mechanics. To do this they created a system that triggers a stream of interlaced photons from a quantum light source to non-conventional objects; which at the same time is reflected in liquid crystal materials that change phase when the photons pass through them.

quantum entanglement

“The image we have managed to capture is an elegant demonstration of a fundamental property of nature, observable for the first time in the form of an image,” explained Dr. Paul-Antoine Moreau, head of the research, in the published study.

quantum entanglement

“It’s an exciting result that could lead to new advances in the emerging field of quantum computing,” he concluded.

Source: BBC.

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Tesla Announces Electric Pick-Up Truck That Will Cost Under $50,000

Billionaire genius Elon Musk has caught the world’s attention yet again, with a new announcement from Tesla. The electric car company will soon be releasing an electric pickup truck. Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke about the forthcoming truck in a recent appearance for the “Ride the Lightning” Podcast.

“Will be a better truck than an F-150 in terms of truck-like functionality, and be a better sports car than a standard [Porsche] 911. That’s the aspiration,” Musk said.

The price is also far lower than what most people would expect from Tesla. Musk says that the starting price for the vehicle will be less than $50,000. The vehicle might even end up being cheaper than some F-150 models, considering that they can range anywhere from $28,000 to over $67,000.

Tesla’s new pick up truck will also be cheaper than the other electric truck that is set to appear on the market soon, the $69,000 pick up that is being released by Rivian next year.

“It just can’t be unaffordable,” Musk says.

According to Tesla, the new pickup truck will be similar to the Ford F-150, which is the country’s top rated truck and one of the best selling vehicles in the country for decades. As usual, Musk’s critics believe that he is trying to accomplish the impossible, and even supporters of Tesla are still skeptical.

Brett Smith, the director of propulsion technologies and energy infrastructure at the Center for Automotive Research, told CNBC that it “will be very challenging,” for Musk to meet all of his goals in this project.

“I have no doubt that they can build a pickup truck that has much better handling than the current F-150,” Smith says. However, he also cautions that “You’re never going to get a vehicle that can do everything well.”

Smith and other experts fear that the truck may fall short in its ability to handle off road driving and heavy cargo hauls as well as a traditional pick up truck would, especially with the high performance sports car capabilities of a Porsche 911.

“The physics don’t work there… But can it be a really great-performing, road-driving vehicle? Sure,” Smith said.

Tesla Announces Electric Pick-Up Truck That Will Cost Under $50,000 1

A rendering of the forthcoming Tesla pick up truck, which will reportedly cost less than $50,000. Photo Credit: Tesla

“Tesla has proven time and time again that they can do some really great things with products, and they’ve proven again that it can be hard to deliver on some things. So, I think what he said was a good benchmark to shoot for, [but] the reality is probably going to be much different,” he added.

Tesla also has a semi-truck on the way as well. The company expects that the truck will have a 500 mile (805 km) range on a full charge. These vehicles are expected to have a price range of anywhere between $150,000 and $180,000.

On March 7, 2018, Musk announced that the Semi was being tested with real cargo, hauling battery packs from Nevada to California.

The first pre-orders came in the day of the press conference and in the Tesla earnings call for the first quarter of 2018, Musk said that there were about 2,000 total pre-orders of the Semi.

Tesla Announces Electric Pick-Up Truck That Will Cost Under $50,000 2

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the new Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, California on March 14, 2019. Photo Credit: Frederic J. Brown, AFP, Getty Images

As with the recent pick up truck reveal, critics of the semi truck argued that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible for an electric vehicle to handle the kind of long haling of heavy materials that traditional semi trucks can. However, Musk has surprised his critics before, and it seems like these products are very close to reaching the market.

Numerous other companies are also developing electric trucks that will be competing with Tesla for market share. These companies include BYD Company, Cummins, Daimler AG, Einride, Kenworth, Nikola Motor, Proterra, Inc., Xos Trucks, VDL, Daf trucks, Toyota, Uber, and Volkswagen.

Last year, Musk posted a series of Tweets pointing out how media organizations have an obvious incentive to give bad press to electric cars and alternative energy in general.

Musk was unforgiving towards the mainstream media in his epic Twitter rant, calling them hypocrites and saying that the public no longer trusts them. He said that he doesn’t advertise for Tesla, his electric car company, which means that he contributes no money to the media, who depend on advertising dollars to stay in business.

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