Call it a silent killer: some 6 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of voice disorder, most of those resulting from scarring of the vocal cords that can lead to diminishing or even total loss of the ability to speak. Giving voice to the voiceless, a team of Harvard and MIT researchers have developed a synthetic, injectable material that can be implanted into scarred vocal cords to restore their function.
Rather than approaching the problem as a physiological one, they looked at the vocal cords as a mechanical issue. That is, they didn't attack the scar tissue in the vocal cords but devised a fix for it. That fix came in the form of a material known as polyethylene glycol (PEG), which they chose because it is already FDA approved for other medical applications.
PEG is flexible, both literally an in terms of its manipulability. By playing with the molecular structure of PEG, the researchers were able to dial in on a variation that mimicked the viscoelasticity of human vocal cords. Known as PEG30, it moves very, very similarly to natural vocal tissues (you can see this in the video below). Further, it can restore vibration to vocal cords that have stiffened due to scarring--which is the ultimate goal here.
Their PEG30 gel, should it receive its own FDA approval, would be categorized as an injectable medical device rather than a drug, which could further speed it to market. If approved, it would have to be re-injected every six months or so because it breaks down over time. But it could restore voice to many who have lost their primary means of expression.
There's a much more detailed and interesting background on this over at MIT News. Both Julie Andrews and Steven Tyler get mentions.
Science 1, Faith healing 0
Science is curing the mute, the blind, and the lame, only for real, unlike the faith healers, who take your money and then tell you that you can't be cured because you didn't believe hard enough.
Aarontco, if you are without a faith please try not to be religiously atheistic. don't try to convert the world, and PLEASE don't bring up religious arguments on popsci or Buddagump will write a seven paragraph long description of his experiences with God. word of advice.
Science... Satan ... its all greek
Looks like "VaJell-0 ". Lol sorry
PopSci, PLEASE work on your ad-bot control - or at least tell them to use proper English...
@jmadrigal12: I've got to admit, I had similar thoughts at first :P .
Anyway, this is interesting. But "injectable vocal cords"? As in, "huge needle to the throat"? Thanks, but I think I'd rather be silent.
-IMP ;) :)
i can think of other uses for this.
@bjorn, If its your wish to mention science and Satan at the same time, you can research the scriptors of Enoch. Its all there, GOD, Satan, Language, Calendar and more... But as you like often critize others, how does you comment of science and Satan have to do with "... New Synthetic Vocal Cord Gel Gives Voice to the Voiceless...". I am sure in your mind going off in that tanget makes sense. But, you sentence is really short to really make sense others. I suppose in the echoes of your own mind, those voice do agree with you. But do not just listen to bouncing balls in your head, communicate intelligently with others.
interesting, anytime we want bubbagump to type lengthy faith based defensive postulates we just have to mention religion? that seems simple. certainly a person must have more to do than be a self appointed defender of all that is holy or unholy on popsci? best of luck bubbagump, i wish you satisfaction in your endeavors. aarontco will probably not find peace, correct or not.
I do not approve or disapprove of the scriptures of Enoch. I only mention of what it brings and the correlations of science and religion. Human knowledge has its many highs and lows throughout time. Just because a document is called a scripture or is from a long history long ago, does not mean it does not have scientific value. Still today, no engineer knows how they made the pyramids and yet they exist. Open your mind and see what is around you, present and past.
@nosmarts, good job for writing complete sentences. The fact I mention something of a religious document ' scripture ' was to help out @bjorn and his anemic and cryptic sentence. Yes, my comments have nothing to do with this article at present. I was distracted by other commentaries as were you.
Since you are an aspiring philosopher and that is one of the areas I am trained in, I will give you a few pointers. Firstly, atheists are not without "faith", in the sense of confidence or strong beliefs, which is what faith means most generally. This is a common misnomer. One can quite easily have "faith" in many things without being religious. Even religious people will tell you that faith doesn't have to be entirely without evidence. However, you will notice that when religious people use the word "faith" that they often make it mean all kinds of different things, sometimes in the same sentence, and very seldom do they clarify what they mean. What people like atheists critique is not necessarily all strong beliefs, but only certain types of strong beliefs that seem to lead people to very inaccurate and harmful conclusions.
Now as far as my comment being "religious", a religion is generally a system of supernatural beliefs. Science, definitionally speaking, is not about the supernatural. If by 'religion' you just mean a system of strong beliefs than anything including baseball can be labelled a 'religion'.
However, it does not require supernatural beliefs for me to point out the fact that science-based medicine has a better track record than faith-based medicine. Again, opponents sometimes say this amounts to "turning science into a religion" (notice how they have misused the word). My reply to them is, "fine, if you want to play that game of calling science a 'religion' then I'll play along because, in that case, science is still a better 'religion' than any other that has yet been invented. So yeah, I put my 'faith' in science all the time by flying in airplanes, for example, and I darn sure wouldn't have a similar confidence in mystic mumbo jumbo to make sure I didn't fall out of the sky at 30,000 feet." So if you want to brand me religious for believing in airplanes then so be it.
Lastly, I would point out that one does not have to be an atheist to criticize religion. One does not even have to dislike religion to do so. You do not have to be against movies to be a movie critic, or against food to be a food critic. Like these other critics, I criticize the bad job that religious people often do of making logical arguments and describing reality. When they occasionally get it right (often by accident), I will acknowledge or even praise that as well. Hope that helps.
@aarontco, lol, you make my morning. As I go into this, it off the subject of this article and there will be a large outcry from readers. Some will join in, others will ask us to focus, and then there is those that will just attack with comments often hard to understand. I will opinionate my response to you, so its not factual except to myself. I consider life all about growth and may change my opinion at anytime as well reflect and correct myself for poor expression, ideas and writing. First I begin I am of a Christian faith. I do believe in the trinity, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In my belief of God is the father, Jesus is our brother. Both God and Jesus forgive us for our sins. In my life, much is spoken about the first 2 and little is taught about the Holy Spirit. It seems we have a feel good type of public religion and a gently attempt to push aside reality. The Holy Spirit guides us, inspires us, is outside us and is a God and is also part of us inside. With God with have a plan. With Jesus we have new beginnings. But the 2 are not enough. I have often seen in life those who choose to ask forgiveness and to repeat the same sin, with the belief they are always forgiven. But it is clearly written from the word of God, do not disrespect God. And it also clearly written from Jesus, disrespecting our dear God will lose our salvation. But then we have the public church preaching mostly the God and Jesus and sometimes mentioning the Holy Spirit to come into you. "Manipulation is a type of lying. To lie to someone is to show disrespect." Its absolutely importance to truly understanding the Holy Spirit. When we ask forgiveness, the Holy Spirit will see our true intentions and know the sincerity of heart. If we are just asking for forgiveness with future knowledge to repeat the sin, this is a type of manipulation and the Holy Spirit sees this and knows this. God makes the plan of our life and Jesus is our brother and knows how hard life can be, but as we travel life, our hearts must be absolute sincere in praise towards our dear Lord and his plan, and our intentions must be absolutely sincere in asking forgiveness and pursuant of Gods plan. There are those who find it so much easier to not believe in God for whatever reason; it relieves them of any guilt in life; I can understand this point of view. But our dear Lord does not go away for anyone’s wishes or desires; we all will be judge at the end. I believe my dear Lord Loves every single person on this earth, past, present and future. I believe we all have free will. We are unique and special. I see in the world and understand different cultures exists and different religions. I really try to open my mind and heart and grow closer to my dear Lord, paying attention too, what he has taught other people. I believe dear Lord loves all of us and is giving us all a message each day. I see so often in life other people close their minds and hearts if they see something different than themselves. I do not think this is a correct way to see. We are all individuals, traveling a special path in life and we all be signally be judge. We need to really open our hearts and minds and grow in life, always grow. To those who wish to attacke me for talking about religion or going off the subject of this artical, I wish you a happy day, bye.
I'm a physician and would be thrilled to see the need for generator changes on pacemakers and ICDs (defibrillators) erased by new strategies. However, this article is inaccurate in that it states the process of changing a current battery constitutes an open heart surgery. It actually isn't anywhere close to that in terms of risk or complexity. There is no median sternotomy (chest cracking) and in fact often consists of some simple superficial dissection between the skin and muscles of the upper chest wall. A minor point, but a correction nonetheless<a href="http://www.healthorum.com/2013/07/5-best-hospitals-in-america.html" rel="follow">.</a>
Really not so bad...