Organ Printing- Is 3D printing a game changer?

3Dorgans_1

Hello Geeks,

I’m back. Now, I know I promised to post something new every Friday and I am aware I failed you for two weeks but to be fair it was a bank holiday over here in England so it doesn’t count and I have a great excuse for the following week. The following week I was a bridesmaid at one of my girls wedding, it was a wonderfully beautiful affair. How’s that for a great excuse?

Last week I was flicking the pages of the Metro newspaper and came across this heading ‘3D printers ‘could be used to print off human organs’. Usually my first instinct when reading something “scientific” in the papers is to discount it, but I took a note of the research groups name to follow up on later. To be fair, the grabbing headline is approximately 10 years away from being a reality but a reality it may be and that reality is something that the thousands of people on the organ donation register and families dream about. According to Dr Sean Cheng, who is an expert in medical devices at Cambridge University, printing organs “would literally save hundreds of thousands of lives every year”, if all goes to plan.

Let us all just take a moment and let that statement sink in. The technology that is being developed as we speak can possibly print human organs!! WOW.

3Dorgans2Experts at Melbourn TTP have created a 3D printing device that could be used to make tailor-made transplant organs at the click of a button. TTP’s breakthrough involves a special print head nozzle that can dispense a wide range of different materials very accurately.  At present 3D printers can only print single materials or groups of materials.

The company’s managing director, Sam Hyde, said the medical possibilities were “very exciting” and he estimates organ-printing could be done in just five to 10 years’ time. The new nozzle has the ability to dispense the right kind of cells to the printer delicately and in the right position. The nozzle will be fed by cartridges of the required material, which could be anything from stem cells to metal powder. If the group can keep them in the right position and conditions without damaging the dispensed cells, the possibilities of this technology seem endless.

In the shorter term, the printers could make simpler structures, such as highly customised surgical implants, orthopaedic implants, or hip replacements with the possibility they can use “tailor-made designs” from an MRI scan. My mama recently underwent knee replacement surgery, she is doing amazingly well now but her only constant complaint is that it feels nothing like her “old” knee and she can “feel” the “new” metal one. Oh what a difference it would make to my ears and her if it was tailor made to be just like her “old” knee. I can almost taste the silence lol.

3Dorgan3

This breakthrough in technology has the prospect of becoming a complete game changer in the fields of design, medicine, technology and most importantly could also change the face of manufacturing products worldwide. It will give companies the ability to print off complex products made of several materials, rather than sourcing them from abroad. We could be printing products as diverse as toys, medical devices, aircraft parts and even organs. The economical implications of this are immense. I am sure Sam Hyde, the managing director at Melbourn TTP is a VERY HAPPY man – economically that is.

As you know, I am a total TED videos geek, so I did a little bit off digging and came across a few talks about organ printing. I picked the one below becasue it does a very good job of relaying the history of this technology and they have a live 3D printer on stage printing a kidney.  We also get to meet Luke, who at the age of 10 was given a bio-engineered bladder that changed his life thanks to these scientific advances The talk is 16min long but you wont meet Luke until 13mins in but please be patient and watch the whole thing. I promise you wont regret it.

Until next time, stay blessed.

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DJ decks made of paper. Yes, made of paper!

CoolDJdecks

Hello geeks,

Hope you have all had a blessed week so far and you are looking forwards to the weekend. I am sure you all know by now that I am a massive TEDx videos fan? If you didn’t, now you do. I recently came across this science technology video that gave me goose bumps whilst watching it for a number of reasons.

Reason one, Kate Stone herself is an inspirational figure and a wonderful example of how someone who is fearless in following her dreams, interests and vision despite not “fitting” in with or “following” conventional paths can still achieve success and greatness. Her complete journey and story is absolutely fascinating.

MusicPosterTwo, I don’t want to spoil the story for you but the fact that her parents sent her back to Australia had me laughing out loud,  I was sure only African parents did that!

Thirdly, the fact that science technology has advanced so much so that DJ decks can now be made out of paper completely blows my mind. I can still remember the days when DJ’s carried very heavy looking boxes of vinyl records into venues and was just getting used to the Ipads and computers being used. The rate of advancement in the science technology arena is crazy.

Click on  the video below and listen to Kate Stone’s story and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Older Fathers Linked to Kids’ Autism and Schizophrenia Risk

If you are a woman, you are familiar with all the pressures and challenges attached to your reproductive system. Especially in particular, your biological clock and the increasing risks to your health and your childs developmental health the later in life you decide to have kids.

However, I was surprised to learn recently that now they have now discovered a link between older fathers and a risk of Autism and Schizophrenia in children. It has been shown that older men are more likely to have children with autism or schizophrenia than younger ones. This is due to the fact that older fathers pass on significantly more random genetic mutations onto their children increasing the risk of their children having these conditions.

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The Science of Happiness

What is happiness?  What makes people happy? The answers to these questions are still heavily debated because it is still uncertain what conditions and interventions improve happiness or quality of life. On the 29th May 2012, I attended a talk at UCL on behalf of Dr Eyman, entitled ‘The Science of Happiness’.

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Young, Gifted and Amazing

Hey All,

Again, apologies for taking so long between posts but mama comes first and I have been busy helping her complete her physio routine until she gets more confidant with it all. Today, we took mama to get her stitches removed post her knee replacement surgery. (Thank you to the lovely nurse who did her job brilliantly today). I have been meaning to post about this amazing young boy since I first came across his story and I thought what better day than today.

This young boy, Tony Hansberry II, age 14, has made medical history by developing a stitching technique that reduces surgical complications and the chance of error among less experienced surgeons. Say whaaaaat? I mean, really, do you remember what you were doing at the age of 14? 14!!! He is quoted as saying:

“The project I did was basically the comparison of novel laparoscopic instruments in doing a hysterectomy repair”

Click here to read more about his story and click play to watch him present his work to renowned surgeons.

Recently, a huge amount of negative press has been circulating around young black men (London Riots, Trayvon Martin, Hunger Games twitts! etc). I hope you share this post as here is a positive and beautiful story about a young black boy. Tony is born to African-American parents and we should ALL be PROUD of his outstanding achievement so early on in his life. Everyone should be amazed by his story, black, yellow, white, purple or green.

I could not think of a better song than this to express to you how this story made me feel, if you do not know who Esperanza Spalding is and/or you have not heard this song, you NEED to click play. Enjoy.

Have a great weekend everyone and I will try and keep up, I have loads if Q’s to answer, I will get onto them, I promise.

Ex

There’s No Hiding Now- A Camera that can “see” behind walls

Hey Geeks,

This one is for all my tech and camera geeks. Scientists at the Institute of Technology in Cambridge have  handed us the ability to see behind walls using a camera! WHAT! Like Superman, this camera could be invaluable in dangerous or inaccessible locations, such as inside machinery with moving parts, or in highly contaminated areas. However, as with any innovation, the worry is if Lex Luther got a hold of it and gave it to his troops, who knows what could happen…fill-in-the-gaps.

Back to the science. Click play and watch this pretty dope video to see for yourself how it works:

Remember, a normal camera can only see objects that are right in front of it. Light that reaches the sensor from beyond the direct line of sight is too diffuse to convey useful information about the hidden scene, having been scattered by multiple reflections.

The new set-up, described today in Nature Communications (Hardcore tech geeks, click on the link for hard-core science), overcomes this problem by capturing ultra-fast time-of-flight information ( Love this Phrase, it basically means how long each photon has taken to reach the camera). This information is then decoded by a reconstruction algorithm developed by team member Andreas Velten. Currently, the whole process takes several minutes, but researchers hope that in the future, it will be reduced to less than 10 seconds.

10 Seconds! WOW, faster than a Polaroid picture , sha sha shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture. EVERYONE NEEDS A LITTLE OUTKAST IN THEIR LIFE. ENJOY.

Until next time. Hope the sun is shinning where you are and you catch some sunspiration (my made up word that is a hybrid of sun and inspiration, I want to be included in your life, share it, Tweet it, Re-Tweet, blog it).

Ex

The Bullet or The Microchip

Hey Geeks,

Last-night I was watching BBC news at 10pm and they had a short review on the use of the “new” and controversial introduction of the Stun Gun Taser for the Met police force, the biggest police force in the UK.  Produced and sold by Taser International, unlike the current Taser X26, which fires darts attached to short wires, the XREP is wire-free. Its projectile, the size of a shotgun cartridge, is designed to pierce the target’s skin and contains battery-powered circuits that deliver a debilitating shock. It has a range of 20 metres or more, compared with 5 metres for previous Tasers.

Many dangers are associated with Taser guns but more worrying is the fact that when combined with pepper spray or any liquid spray it can lead to burning or fire. When the concept was first introduced, the first reaction was it will be too expensive to use on an everyday basis. Now they stand at a cool $150 each, cheap as chips.  I find it interesting that this has come about post the recent London riots.

Anyway, being the unashamed Geek that I am, I needed to know more and did some more research into the scientific research world behind such developments. Some of what I came across BLEW MY MIND.

Jason Bourne will be in much trouble when the CIA agents get their hands on these LASER SEEKING SELF-STEERING BULLETS. A laser sensor in the bullet’s nose instructs the bullet to finely twist tiny rudder-like fins on its rear end to keep it on target. Currently deemed too expensive for everyday use, but I am sure they are working on the expenses as we speak.

FINS!! I mean why didn’t I think of that?? lol, just kidding, not my playing field at all. Click here to find out more. And if you don’t want to read more here is short video of the bullet in-action.

https://share.sandia.gov/news/resources/news_releases/bullet/

What are your thoughts? I much prefer the days of the fist, RIP GURU.

Peace and Love All The Way

Ex

100 things we didn’t know

Hey Geeks,

I came across this post on the BBC website and wanted to share it with you. Mainly because a lot of the questions I get asked as a friend, Dr and educator come from stories read in the paper, tabloids and magazines.

Someone at the beeb put together a list of 100 interesting and unexpected facts we didn’t know about last year that featured in our daily news reads. Some will make you laugh out loud, others will make you go aaaaaahhh and some are just ridiculous.

Here are my personal top 5:

1- Women’s tears reduce sexual desire in men.
More details (Guardian)

And some of you thought it was cute, didn’t you? lol

2- The perfect nap lasts 26 minutes.
More details

OK, they keep changing the time, is it 15 mins or 26 mins? Big difference brain Drs.. work it out maaaaan. Please and Thank you.

3- The world’s atmosphere is worth £4.3 quadrillion, going by the air we breathe in and the price of CO2.
More details (Metro)

I mean, they really put a PRICE on the ATMOSPHERE!!! WOW

4- Chimps can outperform eight-year-olds in solving problems.
More details

CRAZY!!!

5- The male water boatman insect sings with its penis.
More details

WHAT!!! I mean, why do we need to know that? lol

ok I know I said 5 but this one is a BONUS, just because they quote, Mohamed Ali, Messi and Marodona as examples 🙂

Heart disease is less common among religious people.
More details

I am not sure what to say here…but please remember to weigh up the validity of your Science Education source.

Click on the video for some background music and then Click here for the full list and remember to always think it over! What are your top 5? Leave them as a comment, I’m interested to know 🙂

Peace

Ex

Robots At War

Last week, I went to the Science Museum to visit the RobotVille exhibition. Very exciting stuff. the Robotics field is advancing very fast, probably much faster then we are allowed to know!

The latest bunch of Robots on show had a range of skills. Some could follow your emotions and mimic you (e.g if you smiled it would smile back at you). Some could respond to orders and questions, others can shake your hand, grab a ball from you and even hand it back. Amazing.

Robots create a whole bunch of questions in my mind. Exactly what are they going to be used for when they have reached the levels of Will Smith’s i-robot?

Robots are already being used successfully in the medical and technology fields. They have huge educational benefits and are an exciting way off attracting young people into the fields such as mechanics, engineering and technology.

But, a part of me really fears what comes next? War? Medical Morals? Domestic Aids?

I managed to sneak in some photos and videos on my phone to share with you all;

Chillin’ like a Villain

Catch me if you can

 

Do the Robot Dance

The Audios attached to the videos are from the EP When Robots Go To War- featuring Ty and Motet  produced (an original composition)  by Gus  ‘Steve Austin’ Modeste  (Catch me if you can) and remixed by Daz I Q (Do the Robot Dance) who are members of  Uprock Recordings. If you do not know about these music geeks already, DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR click on the links and check them out.

You can also support them by buying the EP from itunes

And if you enjoyed reading the post and videos please support me by sharing the blog via FB and/or twitter and leave me a comment.

Peace and all that good stuff.

Ex