At the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Anthony Atala’s lab is the largest in the world “manufacturing” body parts. We’re not talking about prosthetics here, and not robotics – this is growing new, living organs – and they are yours – made up of identical tissue found in the rest of your body. Growing a finger from the ground up: layering cartilage, bone, then muscle. A beating, engineered heart valve that’s learning how to pump blood before it’s implanted. It’s regenerative medicine and the goal is to help the tens of thousands of people worldwide waiting for organ transplants. In Pittsburgh, Dr. Steven Badylak has discovered a compound that tricks the body into repairing itself, much like the body knows how to do when it’s in the womb. The U.S. military has invested $250 million in regenerative research aimed at helping soldiers with severe battle injuries, regrowing muscle and skin for burn injuries, as well as transplant technology for lost limbs.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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‘Computer Viruses gone to your head?’

Science (May 26, 2010) — A scientist at the University of Reading has become the first person in the world to be infected by a computer virus.

Dr Mark Gasson, from the School of Systems Engineering, contaminated a computer chip which had been inserted into his hand as part of research into human enhancement and the potential risks of implantable devices.

These results could have huge implications for implantable computing technologies used medically to improve health, such as heart pacemakers and cochlear implants, and as new applications are found to enhance healthy humans.

Dr Gasson says that as the technology behind these implants develops, they become more vulnerable to computer viruses.

“Our research shows that implantable technology has developed to the point where implants are capable of communicating, storing and manipulating data,” he said. “They are essentially mini computers. This means that, like mainstream computers, they can be infected by viruses and the technology will need to keep pace with this so that implants, including medical devices, can be safely used in the future.”

Dr Gasson will present his results next month at the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society in Australia, which he is also chairing.

A high-end Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip was implanted into Dr Gasson’s left hand last year. Less sophisticated RFID technology is used in shop security tags to prevent theft and to identify missing pets.

The chip has allowed him secure access to his University building and his mobile phone. It has also enabled him to be tracked and profiled. Once infected, the chip corrupted the main system used to communicate with it. Should other devices have been connected to the system, the virus would have been passed on.

Dr Gasson said: “By infecting my own implant with a computer virus we have demonstrated how advanced these technologies are becoming and also had a glimpse at the problems of tomorrow.

“Much like people with medical implants, after a year of having the implant, I very much feel that it is part of my body. While it is exciting to be the first person to become infected by a computer virus in this way, I found it a surprisingly violating experience because the implant is so intimately connected to me but the situation is potentially out of my control.

“I believe it is necessary to acknowledge that our next evolutionary step may well mean that we all become part machine as we look to enhance ourselves. Indeed we may find that there are significant social pressures to have implantable technologies, either because it becomes as much of a social norm as say mobile phones, or because we’ll be disadvantaged if we do not. However we must be mindful of the new threats this step brings.”

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 28th May 2010

Face transplant performed in Boston



BOSTON (USA) — A man  injured severly  in a fall has undergone the second partial face transplant performed in the United States, says a spokesman  from a Boston hospital.

Eight surgeons, led by Dr. Bohdan Pomahac at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, performed the transplant Thursday during 17 hours of intense surgery, The Boston Herald reported Friday.

The surgeons replaced the man’s nose, hard palate, upper lip, facial skin, muscles that animate the face and the nerves that power them and provide sensation, the hospital statement said.

The surgery was made possible through organ donation from the New England Organ Bank, the hospital said, adding that the patient’s identity was being kept private.



The first face transplant in the United States was performed in December at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic on a woman who had suffered severe facial trauma. The woman was able to breathe through her nose, smell, eat solid foods and drink from a cup once the surgery was completed, her doctors said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 15th April 2009

Synthetic ‘natural’ skin cream developed



LEIDEN, Netherlands (UPI) — Dutch scientists say they have created a synthetic version of Vernix caseosa, a protective substance that covers fetuses and newborn babies.

Leiden University Professor Joke Bouwstra said Vernix caseosa aids in the growth of skin both before and after birth, providing “waterproofing” in utero that allows the skin to grow in wet conditions and then, after birth, hydrating and cleansing the skin and even healing when applied to ulcers.



Bouwstra said the synthetic version of the natural buttery ointment she and colleague Robert Ribmann developed shows the same structure and unique properties as does Vernix caseosa.

As well as helping pre-term babies develop essential protection against temperature changes, dehydration and infection, it is said that their artificial VC could also benefit sufferers of various skin diseases.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 24th March 2009

Heart-kidney transplant risk score created

heart kidney surgery

heart kidney surgery

NEW YORK (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they’ve identified criteria that, when combined with kidney function measures, could create a risk score system for heart-kidney transplant patients.

Dr. Mark Russo of Columbia University Medical Centre/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, who led the study, said such a risk score could help identify patients who are likely to receive a survival benefit from a combined heart and kidney transplant.

“In the past, patients with end-stage heart failure having concurrent renal disease were not considered candidates for heart transplantation,” the researchers said. “With advances in operative techniques and post operative management, combined heart and kidney transplantation is offered to select patients in this population.”

The researchers analyzed data from the United Network for Organ Sharing involving 19,373 patients who underwent heart transplantation between 1995 and 2005. That included 274 patients who received combined heart and kidney transplants and 19,109 who received heart transplants alone.

heart schematic

heart schematic

They said they found patients appeared less likely to survive following a combined heart and kidney transplant if, before surgery, they had peripheral vascular disease, were over 65, had heart failure that wasn’t caused by blocked or narrowed arteries, were dependent on dialysis or were placed on a ventricular assistance device as a bridge to transplantation.

The study appears in the journal Archives of Surgery.
Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 24th March 2009

Craving a cigarette?

How about 4,000 lethal chemicals?

New poster puts smoking hazards gives you a realty check.

So you think smoking is OK. Think again. Facts now revealed.

A global information design consultancy, has created “Put It Out,” an illustrated poster showing in no uncertain terms the lethal chemicals — including arsenic, methane and formaldehyde — ingested from each cigarette and what some of the harsh health facts are surrounding smoking. The 11×17? poster can be viewed and downloaded at



Created by a team of world-class graphic designers, the poster is intended to educate, inform and create a dialogue amongst the general public relating to the ongoing issues associated with smoking. Released under the Creative Commons 3.0 Unported License, the poster can be downloaded and used by health organizations and other individuals wishing to spread the word about what harmfull substances go into each cigarette.

Sourced and Published by Henry Sapiecha 24th March 2009

Princess Alexandra Hospital Brisbane Queensland Australia


Patients of the hospital can now take home the world’s best technology in dialysis treatment



The hospital is the first dialysis service in Australia to offer home haemodiafiltration [HDF], which is considered an optimal treatment for kidney disease.

Janine Jeffries, home dialysis nurse manager, said the new machines were widely used in hospitals, but had not been available until now for use at home.

The new, portable machines bring together the best treatmenton offer at the hospital and the fexibility  of performing dialysis in your own home,” she said.

It means our patients can dialyse where and when they like, and they feel better because they can perform the best treatment for longer and more often.

Like regular diaysis treatment, haemodisfiltration filters blood when the kidneys can no longer do so,

whilst the patient awaits a kidney transplant or continues dialysis indefinitely.

The new machines pull a greater volume of fluid across an ‘artificial kidney’ before infusing sterile water back into the dialysis blood circuit, which removes 15 % more waste products.

The turbulence created in the machine is like a river-the stronger the current the more sand is washed away from the river bed, Janine said.

Our new machines have proved to be easy to use and learn by the patients, also small and portable enough for home installation.

With the number of Australians with end stage kidney disease anticipated  to double in the next decade, it’s important that people address the risk factors including smoking, obesity and blood pressure.

Early detection can also help prevent kidney failure and the need for dialysis or transplants.

Sourced from Qld Health and published by Henry Sapiecha Feb 2009

Innovate or Die – Aquaduct: Mobile Filtration Vehicle



The Aquaduct is pedal powered vehicle that transports, filters, and stores water especially for the developing world. A peristaltic pump attached to the pedal crank draws water from a large tank,via a filter, to a smaller clean tank. This tank is removable and closed for contamination-free home water storage and use. A clutch engages and disengages the drive belt from the pedal crank, enabling the rider to filter the water while traveling or while stationary. The Aquaduct is the winning entry in the Innovate or Die contest put on by Google and Specialized. The contest challenge was to build a pedal powered machine that has environmental impact. Please visit our blog ( ) or email for more details.

From the team at AQUADUCT – AMERICA



Aquaduct YouTube Video



Congratulations on a great idea put into practice

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha Feb 2009

Widespread use of illegal organs alleged



BERKELEY, Calif. (UPI) — Reputable U.S. medical centres transplant kidneys and other human organs they get illegally through the black market, a university anthropologist stated

Surgeons take black-market kidneys from people in the world’s most impoverished slums and put them into wealthy dialysis patients from the United States, Europe and Israel, Nancy Scheper-Hughes of the University of California at Berkeley told Newsweek.

She did not identify any hospitals, but Newsweek said she cited “a big Philadelphia hospital” as “a good place to go for brokered transplants.”

Scheper-Hughes — who spent more than a decade tracking the illegal sale of human organs across the globe — also said patients told her they got transplants “at top hospitals, with top surgeons” in New York and Los Angeles.

The organ trafficking is negotiated by an elaborate network of criminals, Scheper-Hughes said.

For about US$150,000, an organ broker connects a buyer and seller to a “broker-friendly” U.S. hospital, where surgeons are either complicit in the scheme or willing to turn a blind eye, she told Newsweek.

The organ seller typically gets a few thousand dollars, plus a chance to see a U.S. city, she said.

Buying and selling human organs is illegal in every country except Iran,



Yet organ trafficking — mostly of kidneys, but also of liver-sections, eyes, skin and blood — is flourishing.

The U.N. World Health Organization estimates 14,000 of the 70,000 kidneys transplanted around the world each year come from the black market.

Published by Henry Sapiecha

1…..Fish Fingers.

What's cooking good looking?

What's cooking good looking?

Birds Eye had planned to launch frozen herring to capitalize on the plentiful supplies of cheap British herring. This new product went on sale in South Wales.As very much a second choice they simultaeously launched another product in Southampton called cod sticks.These proved to be immensely popular such that the herring concept was discarded as the focal product and cod fish fingers was launched as a major product in 1955 at the expense of the herring

2…..Ice-Cream Cone.

Everybody's Favourite-Ice Cream

Everybody's Favourite

In 1904 at the St.Louis World’s fair a young ice cream salesman presented his girlfriend with an ice cream sandwich and a bunch of flowers. Since she had no vase for the flowers, the resourceful lady had rolled the layers of wrapping into the shape of a cone to use as a vase. The idea promoted the use of an edible cone for the containment of ice-cream

3…..Liquorice Allsorts.

Liquorice Allsorts

Selling liquorice sweets individually, one colour and or taste at a time, travelling salesman Charlie Thompson met with little enthusiasm from wholesalers until, one day at Leicester England in 1899 he accidently dropped the different individual sweets and got them all mixed up. When confronted with this assortment the wholesaler began to show interest in the products . The’ Liquorice Allsorts’ was born.

4…..Microwave Oven.

cook with waves

Cooking with waves

Percy Spencer a physicist and engineer on American radar equipoment manufacturers Raytheon, was employed during the second world war to make the magnetrons used in radar systems. He noticed that the magnetrons gave off as much heat as a large lightbulb and used them to warm his hands on cold days. But it wasn’t until he discovered a melted sweet in his pocket that the possibility  occurred of cooking with microwaves. How big was this micrtowave??

5…..Non-Stick Saucepan.

Assorted pots-n-pans

Assorted pots-n-pans

In 1938 Roy Plunkett of the American Company Du-Pont was working on refrigerants when he stumbled upon a polymer called polytetrafluoroethylene.or Teflon for short. Du-Pont began producing Teflon ten years later but it needed another folly encounter for it to be considered for kitchenware. In 1954 a french manufacturer Marc Gregoire chanced upon a process which would enable teflon coatings to be applied to metals. It occurred to him that the non-stick properties would be ideal for the kitchen environment and uitensils. He consequently founded the Tefal Company to make frying pans and saucepans


lucky legs

Lucky legs

Three years into his studies in polymerisation Dr. Wallace Carothers, a research chemist with Du-Pont, discovered that a fibre of extreme tensile strength could be drawn form a mass of polymers. His task wasn’t even to create a specific product but the fibre, known as nylon was launched in 1938 by which time Carothers had committed suicide as he was a depressive during his life and did not see his crowning glory being acknowledged worldwide.

Industry will always be grateful to him.

We all can visualize many of the products made from this substance, one of which is the stocking.

7…..Paper Tissue.

kleenex,a fragrant soft treatment

Kleenex,a fragrant soft treatment

In 1924 Kimberly Clark brought out celluwipes, upmarket makeup removers made from paper pulp. Sales however were slow and special notice was given to letters from consumers about the celluwipe products. To managements’ surprise these letters highlighted the alternate perfect use of these products for blowing noses.

These products were then relaunched as the ‘Kleenex’ that we all know today

Yes, and they can be like a fragrant soft towell treatment with plain or textured and printed versions

8…..Post-it Note.

Tagged notepad

Tagged notepad

Spencer Silver, a research chemist with the American 3M Corporationwas told to create the strongest glue in the world. Instaed he cam up with the opposite, a temporary glue that would not hold anything for long.It’s only virtue was that it would leave no residue on the material to which it was applied when removed and could be reused over again. Silver’s glue remained idle for another 10 years until in 1980 a collegue, Arthur Fry, who sang in a church choir, noted that a litle of the glue on a strip of paper used as a bookmark in the hymnbook did not fall from the pages nor soiled the paper to which it was attached.

3M launched and marketed the product the following year.

We are all now very familiar with the product and the various colours in which it comes


superglue experiments

superglue experiments

While studying uses and properties of ethyl cyanoacrylate in the 1950’s scientists with the Eastman Kodak Company accidently stuck together the glass prisims of a refractometer. This alerted them to the extreme bonding properties of this substance and superglue was born and is now well known to us all

Yes and now there is a superglue remover as well.


can this cure venerial disease?

Can this cure venerial disease?

Count Callaimachi, a Romanian biochemist working in London, invented what he hoped was a cure for veneral disease. He named the liquid TCP because he thought it contained trichlorophenol, but it proved to be ineffective against veneral disease but was soon to be heralded for its strong antibacterial properties and was consequently marketed for use against infections of the throat and cuts and bruises

Researched from various sources by Henry Sapiecha