Surgeons Save a Newborn’s Life with the Support of 3-D Printing
A team of surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital saved the life of a one-week-old baby with the aid of a 3-D printed model of the child’s heart. The 3-D model was used as a guide for surgery on the child, who was born with a complex and deadly form of congenital heart disease (CHD).
Dr. Emile Bacha, director of congenital and pediatric cardiac surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and his team performed surgery when the baby was just one week old and weighed only 7 lbs. With the aid of the 3-D model, the team was able to repair all of the heart’s defects in a single procedure. Typically, babies born with this complex form of CHD require a series of three or four life-threatening surgeries.
“The baby’s heart had holes, which are not uncommon with CHD, but the heart chambers were also in an unusual formation, rather like a maze,” said Dr. Bacha, who is also chief of the division of cardiac, thoracic and vascular surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the Calvin F. Barber Professor of Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S).
“In the past, we had to stop the heart and look inside to decide what to do. With 3-D printing technology, we are able to look at the inside of the heart in advance, giving us a road map for the surgery,” he added.
Prior to the surgery, a team of doctors led by Dr. Anjali Chelliah, a pediatric cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and assistant professor at P&S, diagnosed the baby with CHD while he was still in the womb, allowing time to develop the optimal treatment plan. After the baby was born, Dr. Chelliah worked closely with Materialise, a company that specializes in 3-D printing for healthcare, to create a model of the child’s heart with data taken from a low-dose CT scan performed just one day after the baby.
Only two days after receiving the data, the printer was able to produce an exact replica of the heart, allowing the doctors to understand every detail of the congenital defects. Dr. Bacha and Dr. Chelliah are optimistic that 3-D printing technology will continue to improve outcomes for patients.
“After the success of this surgery, it’s clear that 3-D models can be successfully used to help surgeons in complex procedures,” said Dr. Bacha. “This technology is the future, and we are proud that NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital is leading the way.”
The 3-D printed model of the baby’s heart was paid for by Matthew’s Hearts of Hope, a non-profit organization that supports CHD patients and their families.
TOP RESEARCHERS COMMENT AS THE “GRAVITATIONAL WAVE REVOLUTION" RIPPLES THROUGH THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY Nature | News by Ron Cowen || 18 March 2014
The evidence of gravitational waves from the early Universe found by researchers working at the South Pole has been hailed as a landmark discovery in cosmology, astronomy and physics. The announcement was made by astronomer John Kovac on 17 March at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. … Here Nature has collected reactions from leading researchers.
‒ ”… many great intellectual discoveries are never confirmed at the time when the authors are still alive. I’m not dead yet and they are already seeing this gravitational-wave signal.“ [Comment from one of the discoverers/creators of the theory of cosmic inflation]
‒ "Nobel prize material, no question. It’s not everyday that you wake up and learn something fundamentally new about the Universe, a telegram from the very earliest moments of the Universe. … just in time for the one-hundredth birthday of Einstein’s general [theory of] relativity next year.”
‒ “If the BICEP2 result holds up, this is really big — as important as the discovery of dark energy, cosmic microwave background anisotropy or the Higgs boson. …” ______________________________
Top Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, with the BICEP2 telescope on the right. [Robert Schwarz/University of Minnesota] Middle/Bottom: credit: BICEP2 Collaboration / Nature Magazine, 17 March 2014
Researchers have created a ‘5D’ disc that can record data in 5 dimensions and keep it safe for billions of years. It can store 360TB of data and can withstand temperatures up to 1000 degrees C. (source)
Imagine your doctor could take some of your cells, slide them into a
compartment on a smartphone and tell you if you had cancer in just an
hour. A team at Massachusetts General Hospital has created such a device.
Researchers have trialled an experimental dengue vaccine on a group of volunteers, and have shown that, six months later, 100 percent of them were protected from the virus, even after having dengue directly injected into their system.
Dengue is similar to Zika in that it’s spread by Aedes mosquitoes, and is on the verge of reaching epidemic levels in southeast Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, with more than 390 million people being infected with one of the four dengue strains every single year. This is the first time a vaccine has been shown to prevent infection, and the results are so promising, it’s now been rushed through into large-scale phase 3 clinical trials.
“The results of this work are very straightforward and quite conclusive,” one of the researchers involved in the trial, Beth Kirkpatrick from the University of Vermont, told The Washington Post. “The bottom line is that the vaccine appears to be 100 percent efficacious.”
As there was also protection against very high doses,
equivalent to the amount of new virus that would be produced in a
chronically infected patient, the researchers believe the approach may
be useful in people who already have HIV.
Lead researcher Prof Michael Farzan told the BBC: “We are
closer than any other approach to universal protection, but we still
have hurdles, primarily with safety for giving it to many, many people.
Dr Anthony Fauci, of the US National Institutes of Health, said: "This innovative research holds promise for moving us toward two important
goals: achieving long-term protection from HIV infection, and putting
HIV into sustained remission in chronically infected people.”
But now a group of researchers has found a strange property of primes that’s never been seen before, and it violates one of the fundamental assumptions about how they behave - the idea that, for the most part, they occur totally randomly across integers.
The pattern isn’t actually found within the primes themselves, but rather the final digit of the prime number that comes directly after them - which the mathematicians have shown isn’t as random as you’d expect, and that’s a pretty big deal for mathematicians.
Researchers design the most precise quantum thermometer to date
Barcelona, Spain (SPX) Jun 11, 2015
Researchers from the UAB and the University of Nottingham, in an article published in Physical Review Letters, have fixed the limits of thermometry, i.e., they have established the smallest possible fluctuation in temperature which can be measured. The researchers have studied the sensitivity of thermometers created with a handful of atoms, small enough to be capable of showing typical quantum-s Full article
3-D Printed Prosthetics: Crowdsourcing a Solution for Disabled Kids Johns Hopkins Medicine hosts event for 3-D printing enthusiasts who provide kids with affordable and durable prosthetic hands.
Most kids take swinging a baseball bat for granted. For children missing a hand or fingers due to congenital disabilities, that simple act can feel like reaching for the stars. Prosthetic limbs are expensive and quickly outgrown, leaving many families without options. But recently, a group of volunteers and professionals joined forces to put more durable, less constrictive and much less expensive prosthetic hands within the grasp of thousands of children — all for free.
On Sept. 28, 2014, Johns Hopkins Medicine hosted a symposium titled Prosthetists Meet Printers: Mainstreaming Open Source 3-D Printed Prosthetics for Underserved Populations. The event included workshops on strategy, techniques and policy regarding 3-D prosthetics. Johns Hopkins trauma surgeon Albert Chi, the e-NABLE organization, the Kennedy Krieger Institute and other leaders in medicine and industry donated 3-D printed prosthetics to children with upper limb differences.
The event brought 21st century practices and technologies to almost 500 prosthetists, printer owners, parents, kids and wounded warriors. It provided a forum for 3-D printer owners who donate free prosthetic limbs, allowing them to share specs and meet with the professionals and families who can benefit from their work.
A tardigrade that had been frozen solid for more than 30 years has been brought back to life by researchers in Japan, and has gone on to produce 14 healthy babies. That’s record-smashing stuff right there, because before this tough little water bear came back to life, the world record for reviving a frozen tardigrade was nine years.
The researchers also thawed out an egg that was collected and frozen with the tardigrade in 1983, and not only did a healthy baby hatch from it six days later, but it went on to successfully produce offspring of its own.
A dollop of peanut butter and a ruler might be a way to confirm a diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student in the McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste and the University of Florida, came up with the idea of using peanut butter to test for smell sensitivity when she was working with Kenneth Heilman, a professor of neurology at the University of Florida.