Daily Orbit – 3D Printer Builds Synthetic Tissues

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,329
    4-5-13: On this episode of the Daily Orbit, 3D printing makes a mark in the field of medicine, a tarantula found in Sri Lanka is the size of the human face, and baldness is linked to heart disease.

    Emerald Robinson: Building tissues in 3D. What little creature is thriving in the light of global warming? A not so itsy bitsy spider. And it's all in the breath on today's Daily Orbit!

    Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I'm Emerald Robinson. Okay I can't believe this! 3D printers are now building synthetic tissues! The printers can create materials to replace damaged tissues in the human body, with several properties of living tissues and without some of the common problems seen in stem cell approaches. The printer prints droplets with protein pores to form pathways through the network that mimic nerves and are able to transmit electrical signals, but these cells are not actually living, as they have no genome and don't replicate. Can we go ahead print me a new ACL? Thanks.

    You know these global warming stories just keep getting more and more positive. Based on satellite images from the last 50 years, researchers are now saying that Adelie penguins could actually benefit from global warming.

    Adelie penguins are smaller than their Emperor penguin counterparts. They live only where there is sea ice, but need ice-free land to breed. Antarctica's Beaufort Island Adelie population increased 84% as the region's ice fields retreated from 1958 to 2010.

    I guess the warmer weather makes them feel frisky! Nah, it's actually the increase in available habitat for the penguins. Also, researchers found less birds migrated from the island making more food available to the penguins. So in short, global warming gave the Adelie penguins more resources to feed and breed. So, wait, am I supposed to feel better about global warming now?

    What's worse than a tarantula? A tarantula the size of your face! A new species of tarantula has been discovered in a remote village in Sri Lanka that has a leg span up to 8 inches and has unique daffodil-yellow markings with a distinctive pink band around its body. Are they trying to say it's pretty? These giant spiders prefer to abide in large old trees but have been seeking new habitats in old buildings due to deforestation.

    Researchers found some hiding a hospital. That's reassuring. But their bite doesn't pack much punch. They're not poisonous enough to be deadly to humans. Surprisingly it's not the biggest spider. That award goes to South America's goliath-bird eater. I'm going to dream about giant spiders tonight, I just know it.

    Bald may be beautiful but it also could mean a bad heart. According to new research, men with severe male-pattern baldness are nearly twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as those with a full head of hair. Of the nearly 40,000 participants, balding men were 32% more likely to have heart disease than men with a full head of hair. And the risk jumped up to 44% for those who experienced baldness before age 60. But guys don't freak out if you have a receding hair line, as this correlation just applies to hair loss on the top of the head. Researchers aren't exactly sure what is the common denominator but say the baldness could be a symptom of an underlying health issue.

    Your breath might give you away. Researchers in Switzerland were able to discriminate between individual breath signatures as if they were fingerprints using a spectrometer. Feeding the breath into the device by a breath sampling inlet, they then could measure the almost 100 compounds in the breath. They found that each individual has their own breath signature based on the presence of volatile and semi-volatile metabolites. They plan to build on this technology to one day identify diseases based on a breath sample. So that means no more needles for drawing a blood sample? I'm in!

    Well that's all for today's Daily Orbit.