By Susan DuPosted 06.05.2012 at 4:04 pm 8 Comments
Only under special circumstances. “I mean, it doesn’t just happen to any Joe Schmo walking down the street holding his urine too long,” says Scott Eggener, a urologist at the University of Chicago. “But for someone who has had major surgery or cancer or had radiation in his bladder, or whose bladder had been removed and we make them a new bladder out of intestine, then yes—those are situations where the bladder can rupture.”
By Jeremiah ZagarPosted 02.29.2012 at 1:04 pm 9 Comments
Heart Stop Beating is a three-minute documentary film about the no-pulse, continuous-flow artificial heart, which Dan Baum writes about in our Future of Medicine issue. It tells the story of Billy Cohn & Bud Frazier, two visionary doctors from the Texas Heart Institute, who in March of 2011 successfully replaced a dying man's heart with the device they developed, proving that life was possible without a pulse or a heart beat.
Meeko the calf stood nuzzling a pile of hay. He didn't seem to have much appetite, and he looked a little bored. Every now and then, he glanced up, as though wondering why so many people with clipboards were standing around watching him.
Fourteen hours earlier, I'd watched doctors lift Meeko's heart from his body and place it, still beating, in a plastic dish. He looked no worse for the experience, whisking away a fly with his tail as he nibbled, demonstrably alive—though above his head, a monitor showed a flatlined pulse. I held a stethoscope to his warm, fragrant flank and heard, instead of the deep lub-dub of a heartbeat, what sounded like a dentist's drill or the underwater whine of an outboard motor. Something was keeping Meeko alive, but it was nothing like a heart.
Two scientists at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh discussed the state of xenotransplantation--the use of cells, organs, or tissue from one animal in another--in a review in The Lancet. In that review, they touch on the history of one particular subject: pig-to-human transplants. Their conclusion? Clinical trials of pig-to-human transplants could begin in just a few years.
3-D printing is a young technology, but its pioneers and champions aren't satisfied with printing cars, airplane parts, or tiny edible spaceships--they're always looking down the road at what's next. We talked with some of the best minds in 3-D printing about their dream projects--not what's possible now, but what their current work might lead to in five or ten years. These six dream projects are pretty astounding, and what's most striking is how attainable they seem. These aren't pipe dreams. They're our future.
A new type of endoscope with a super-small camera on its end could yield cheap, disposable scopes for peering inside your body. The camera is about the size of a grain of kosher salt, and its designers say it's the smallest camera ever.
Researchers at Rutgers are trying to freeze fruit flies, but this isn't just some reaction to summer boredom in the biology lab. They are trying to freeze the summertime pests while keeping them alive to learn how to control the internal thermostats of living organisms. If they can figure out how to engineer cold-tolerant flies they should be able to do the same for human cells, and that could lead to extended shelf life for donated human organs.
Staying alive on the organ transplant waiting list could get a bit easier with organs that last longer outside the body. That's the hope of Harvard startup Hibergenica, which looks to commercialize a liquid solution that preserves the metabolism of hearts and livers for about 10 days, Technology Review reports.
We realize you’re asking hypothetically. If you’re looking to indulge in the other, other white meat but can’t stand the idea of society branding you a cannibal, this might be the loophole you’re looking for. And there are plenty of dishes to choose from.