Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

Posted: December 13, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Must watch:

A team of neurosurgeons from the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) recently stepped into CAVE2 — a next-generation, large-scale, 320-degree, immersive, 3-D virtual environment — to solve a vexing problem that presented itself in the arteries of the brain of a real patient.

The method they used could someday benefit hundreds of thousands of Americans who fall victim to brain aneurysms and strokes, the third leading cause of death in the United States.

“We were flabbergasted,” said Andreas Linninger, professor of bioengineering and lead researcher of a project that measures and models blood flow in the brains of patients with stroke.

For years, Linninger and neurosurgeons had painstakingly used laptop and desktop computers to evaluate patient-specific images, which had been interpreted by computer algorithms to represent the brain and its blood flow in 3-D. They pieced together arteries, veins and micro-vessels to create three-dimensional, full-brain models that physiologically mirrored the brains of individual patients, including a particular patient whose cerebrovascular system they were trying to accurately model.

Posted: December 3, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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It looks like a smiley face tattoo, but a new easy-to-apply sensor can detect medical problems and help athletes fine-tune training routines. “We wanted a design that could conceal the electrodes,” says Vinci Hung, a PhD candidate in physical and environmental sciences at the University of Toronto, who helped create the new sensor. “We also wanted to showcase the variety of designs that can be accomplished with this fabrication technique.” The tattoo, which is an ion-selective electrode (ISE), is made using standard screen printing technique and commercially available transfer tattoo paper—the same kind of paper that usually carries tattoos of Spiderman or Disney princesses. n the case of the sensor, the “eyes” function as the working and reference electrodes, and the “ears” are contacts for a measurement device to connect to. Hung contributed to the work while in the lab of Joseph Wang, a professor at the University of California, San Diego. The sensor she helped make can detect changes in the skin’s pH levels in response to metabolic stress from exertion.

Posted: November 30, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Humans have stripes and you just can’t see them

You’ve got a tiger inside! Or maybe a zebra. At the very least a well-behaved house cat. Apparently humans are hiding stripes in our skin, they are just invisible. 

They’re called Blaschko Lines:

Blaschko Lines follow the same pattern on all people. They run down the arms and legs. They curve around the sides, like tiger stripes. On the chest and upper back they rise in a swirl before dipping down to meet in a deep “v” along the spine and the middle of the chest. They also run along the face above and below the eyes and over the ears, looking a little like painted-on glasses. These lines don’t correspond with any other system in the body. They don’t follow the lines of nerves, arteries, veins, muscles, or correspond with the endocrine system.

They are probably a remnant of how our cell growth is organized back when we are an embryo, with different “stripes” of cells growing along carefully delineated patterns. The stripes can become visible in genetic “chimeras”, people who have mixes of two genetic backgrounds in their body. Here’s some Google image results if you’re so inclined.

That “chimera” mix may sound scary, but it is just a rare occurrence of fertilization. Ever know someone with different colored skin patches or different color eyes? They’re a chimera. 

Check out more at io9.

Posted: November 28, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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For years they have lived as orphans and outliers, a colony of misfit characters on their own island: the bizarre one and the needy one, the untrusting and the crooked, the grandiose and the cowardly. Their customs and rituals are as captivating as any tribe’s, and at least as mystifying. Every mental anthropologist who has visited their world seems to walk away with a different story, a new model to explain those strange behaviors. This weekend the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association will vote on whether to adopt a new diagnostic system for some of the most serious, and striking, syndromes in medicine: personality disorders. Personality disorders occupy a troublesome niche in psychiatry. The 10 recognized syndromes are fairly well represented on the self-help shelves of bookstores and include such well-known types as narcissistic personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, as well as dependent and histrionic personalities. But when full-blown, the disorders are difficult to characterize and treat, and doctors seldom do careful evaluations, missing or downplaying behavior patterns that underlie problems like depression and anxiety in millions of people. (via Clearing the Fog Around Personality Disorders –

Posted: November 22, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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A new biological robot has been made from rat heart cells and synthetic materials, a new study says—and the machine could someday lead to others that will attack diseases inside the human body. (See “Animal-Robot Pictures: Marine Machines Made in Nature’s Image.”) The centimeter-long “biobot” was made by attaching heart muscle cells onto a flexible structure, or body, of hydrogel—the same material used to make contact lenses for human eyes. (via Crawling Bio-Robot Runs on Rat Heart Cells)


by Charles Q. Choi

A new biological robot or “bio-bot” made with cells from rat hearts can inch across surfaces like a caterpillar.

Future bio-bots could incorporate neurons to intelligently react to their surroundings.

“You can imagine a bio-bot that can look for toxins in water and then annihilate them,” says researcher Rashid Bashir, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign bioengineer. “They could sense where those toxins are, move toward them and release chemicals that neutralize them, helping in environmental cleanup.”

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Posted: November 12, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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“The ultimate ideal sought,” wrote Harvey Ernest Jordan in 1912, “is a perfect society constituted of perfect individuals.” Jordan, who would later be dean of medicine at the University of Virginia, was speaking to the importance of eugenics in medicine—­a subject that might seem tasteless and obsolete today. Yet nearly a century later, in 2008, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the biomedical research institute on Long Island’s north shore, published a book titled Davenport’s Dream, which shows that eugenic visions persist. Charles Davenport, ­a colleague and friend of Jordan’s, ­had directed Cold Spring Harbor for the first third of the 20th century, turning it from a sleepy, summertime marine-biology laboratory into a center for genetics research­—and the epicenter of American eugenics. (via The Eugenic Impulse – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education)