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Saturday, December 7, 2019

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Have you ever had a "gut-wrenching" experience? Do certain situations make you "feel nauseous"? Have you ever felt "butterflies" in your stomach? We use these expressions for a reason. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation — all of these feelings can trigger symptoms in the gut.

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Technically known as the enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut, or alimentary canal, which measures about nine meters end to end from the esophagus to the anus. The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system.

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Pregnancy is often one of a woman's most cherished memories. For women with uterine factor infertility (UFI), however, pregnancy is not an option. They cannot carry a pregnancy because they were born without a uterus, have lost their uterus, or have a uterus that no longer functions. Now, in a research study — groundbreaking for the United States — Cleveland Clinic will perform uterus transplants in 10 women with UFI.

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"Although there appears to be potential for treating UFI with uterine transplantation, it is still considered highly experimental," says Tommaso Falcone, MD, Ob/Gyn & Women's Health Institute Chair. "Cleveland Clinic has a history of innovation in transplant and reproductive surgery and will explore the feasibility of this approach for women in the United States."

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Over 1 million Americans die from a terminal illness every year. These Americans aren't just statistics, they're our friends, loved ones and family members. Many spend years searching for a potential cure, or struggle in vain to get accepted into a clinical trial. Unfortunately, FDA red tape and government regulations restrict access to promising new treatments, and for those who do get access, it's often too late.

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The FDA drug approval process can take up to 15 years. This is far too long for dying patients to wait. Terminal timelines are measured in months, weeks and days. Not decades. Many potentially life-saving treatments awaiting approval in the U.S. are already available overseas, and have been for years. Sadly, most Americans cannot afford to seek treatment abroad. Many are left without hope.

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For just the third time on record, scientists say they are now watching the unfolding of a massive worldwide coral bleaching event, spanning the globe from Hawaii to the Indian Ocean. And they fear that thanks to warm sea temperatures, the ultimate result could be the loss of more than 12,000 square kilometers, or over 4,500 square miles, of coral this year — with particularly strong impacts in Hawaii and other U.S. tropical regions, and potentially continuing into 2016.

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The event is being brought on by a combination of global warming, a very strong El Nino event, and the so-called warm "blob" in the Pacific Ocean, say the researchers, part of a consortium including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as XL Catlin Seaview Survey, The University of Queensland in Australia, and Reef Check.

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A Spanish cancer patient has received a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib cage designed and manufacture in Australia. Suffering from a chest wall sarcoma (a type of cancerous tumour that grows, in this instance, around the rib cage), the 54 year old man needed his sternum and a portion of his rib cage replaced. This part of the chest is notoriously tricky to recreate with prosthetics, due to the complex geometry and design required for each patient. So the patient's surgical team determined that a fully customisable 3D printed sternum and rib cage was the best option.

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That's when they turned to Melbourne-based medical device company Anatomics, who designed and manufactured the implant utilising our 3D printing facility.