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.
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.
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.
An experimental device is letting paralyzed people drive wheelchairs simply by flicking their tongue in the right direction. Key to this wireless system: Users get their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewelry and acts like a joystick, in hopes of offering them more mobility and independence.
When cloud formations take physical shape, neither their scale nor duration has an upper bound: We may begin to see cloud towns, then cloud cities, and ultimately cloud countries. At first this sounds rather implausible. Perhaps the internet will spur a wave of internal migrations as online communities begin gathering in person — but could this process really lead to a new city, or country?
Where does consciousness come from? According to Koch, consciousness arises within any sufficiently complex, information-processing system. All animals, from humans on down to earthworms, are conscious; even the internet could be. That’s just the way the universe works.