Why yes, we can print you a new body part. A motorcycle accident victim in Wales just had his skull surgically reconstructed by a team that used 3-D technology to print custom implants for him.
Stephen Power was wearing a helmet when his motorcycle crashed in 2012, but it didn’t stop his head from getting crushed. It broke his cheek bones, top jaw, nose, skull and left him in the hospital for months. Afterward he wore a hat and glasses to disguise the asymmetry in his face, he told the BBC’s Hywel Griffith.
Recently Power, 29, underwent a new round of surgery at Morriston Hospital in Swansea to restore his appearance. Maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar led the project in collaboration with the Centre of Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery and the National Centre for Product Design and Development Research.
The unaffected side of Power’s head was scanned and used to produce a 3-D model. Then medical-grade plates and custom bone saw guides were 3D-printed. A surgical team had to re-fracture his cheek bones in order to rebuild his face. The procedure took eight hours. Powers told the BBC he could see the difference right after the surgery. ”It is totally life changing,” he said.
The project is featured in an exhibition on 3-D printing at the Science Museum in London through July. Although surgical 3-D printing remains incredibly involved, the Wales team hopes it becomes more widely available over time. Maybe a trip to the ER will mean getting all new 3D-printed bones.
The season we’re born in can have far-reaching consequences. Now, scientists are studying the links between season of birth and brain structure in healthy adults, and think genetic factors controlling brain growth play a role in these differences.
You’re looking at a rabbit’s heart beating outside the animal that once hosted it. It’s alive, pumping blood on its own thanks to a revolutionary electronic membrane that may save your life by keeping your heart beating at a perfect rate.
This is a game changer, folks. Whereas mining stem cells has been either an ethical quandary or a months-long affair, scientist can now turn any old blood cells into stem cells in just 30 seconds by dipping them in acid.
Thanks to extraordinary demand for gadgets that make us healthier, stronger, and smarter, the technology industry is putting some serious brain power behind the next generation of wearable health devices. Over the next year, a torrent of new devices is hitting the market to provide automated elite coaching, a pocket-sized clinical lab, and your own personal assistant.
From intergalactic neutrinos and invisible brains, to the creation of miniature human “organoids,” 2013 was an remarkable year for scientific discovery. Here are 17 of the biggest scientific breakthroughs, innovations and advances of 2013.
I don’t feel that I’m using technology, I don’t feel that I’m wearing technology, I feel that I am technology. I don’t perceive my antenna as a device, I perceive it as a part of my body, I perceive it as an organ.
You can live in the moment and capture it. Technology has improved this process of engaging with life through pausing to capture it. In “Why I Write,” Joan Didion explains, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” Hey, we’re all little Joan Didions!
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in transforming human stem cells into functional lung and airway cells. The advance has significant potential for modeling lung disease, screening drugs, studying human lung development, and, ultimately, generating lung tissue for transplantation.
Seven years ago a modest NASA research program aimed at developing the ability to capture, analyze, and recreate subvocal speech was initiated as part of NASA’s Extension of the Human Senses program. The subvocal speech-recognition research, headed by Dr. Charles Jorgensen, was initially aimed at developing silent communication and speech augmentation in extremely noisy environments such as the space station. It soon became clear that the technology could have many other applications as well; it could enable bodyguards, security personal, or Special Forces during highly covert operations to communicate without detection, and tank commanders to give orders even during noisy fighting conditions. The technology also has many civilian applications, enabling users to talk with privacy even in the company of others or in very noisy environments. Firefighters and other help and rescue personal could use the technology in their daily routines (as this NASA video shows), as could people with vocal cord disorders. Finally, the technology could find its way into the gaming market as a way to send specific commands to team members in multiplayer games.