3D-printed nerve stem cells could help patch up spinal cord injuries

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A 3D-printed device, loaded with neuronal stem cells, that can be implanted into an injured spinal cord to help “bridge” the damage,

Spinal injuries can be like downed power lines – even if everything on either side of the injury is perfectly functional, the break can effectively shut down the whole system. Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota have designed a device that could link everything back together again. A silicone guide, covered in 3D-printed neuronal stem cells, can be implanted into the injury site, where it grows new connections between remaining nerves to let patients regain some motor control.

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Stem cells repair and strengthen muscles in aged mice

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Stem cell therapy could be used to help older patients recover from muscular injuries.

People become less able to bounce back from injuries as they age. This is a problem that adds risk to many of the common medical procedures the elderly face. At the same time, stem cells’ greatest promise is to allow people to produce new, healthy tissue to recover from illness or injury. But because stem cell therapies remain cutting edge, they have largely been used to target life-threatening problems such as heart failure.

 

 

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Flipping a single molecular switch can make an old brain young

Scientists have long known that the young and old brains are very different.

A single molecular switch, that when flipped, helps create the mature neuronal connections that allow the brain to bridge the gap between adolescent impressionability and adult stability.

 

 

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Top 5 most dangerous tech products

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There are 18,000 injuries a year, one child death every two weeks from flat-panel tv’s.

Our lives are enhanced in numerous ways by the electronic products we have in our homes.  Even though these products may enhance our lives on a daily basis they can also be the most dangerous products we have.  They are putting some of us, especially young children and the elderly, at risk of serious injury or even death.   The risks run from flat-panel TVs that topple onto toddlers, to button-sized batteries that become poisonous pills.

 

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ER Visits for Concussions Skyrockets Among School-Age Athletes

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Disturbing trend among kids in sports.

Emergency room visits for school-age athletes with concussions has skyrocketed in recent years, suggesting the intensity of kids’ sports has increased along with awareness of head injuries. The findings in a study of national data don’t necessarily mean that concussions are on the rise. However, many children aren’t taken for medical treatment, so the numbers are likely only a snapshot of a much bigger problem, doctors say.

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High Heels can Ruin a Woman’s Health

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High heels are very popular, especially with celebrities such as
Gwyneth Paltrow, but there is a steep price to pay over time

Like the tall Lara Dutta or the shorter Rani Mukerji, you might want to flaunt stilettos to look glamorous and sleek. But experts feel this style statement can cause serious harm to the body if proper care is not taken.
“Increased pressure puts the forefoot at risk of injuries such as stress fractures, bunions and hammer toes. Knee pain is also common when high heels are involved,” says Ashish Jain, M.S. (orthopaedics), consultant joint replacement specialist at Max Hospital.
“The heel height causes increased strain on the knee joint and associated tendons. The quadriceps muscle group in the front of the thigh works harder, increasing pressure on the kneecap by up to 26 percent.”
“This can ultimately increase the incidence of osteoarthritis of the knee and quadriceps tendonitis,” Jain added.
Jain also spoke of other hazards.
He revealed that when the heel is constantly elevated, the calf muscle and Achilles tendon can contract and shorten. Wearing high heels habitually can result in a woman not being able to tolerate a flat shoe. On occasions, this can even require surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon.
Sometimes the tight fit of many heels will force the toes to conform to its shape. The pressure of the shoe itself can cause corns to form. Furthermore, the compression of the metatarsal bones can cause pressure on the nerves that run between them.
“The toenails are also at risk as the incidence of in-growing toenails and nail infections is higher in heel wearers. In-growing toenails can be very painful, unsightly and require surgery to correct,” Jain added.
Women feel high heels like gladiator sandals, tip toes and others add a touch of elegance and glamour to one’s overall style and the legs appear longer and slimmer. Thus, to look special in that chic footwear and not experience painful after effects, many are going in for dermal fillers.
“It has been observed that women are undergoing filler injections to plump up the underside of their feet, thus filling them out and providing padding inside the foot to relieve the pain that comes from wearing high heels,” said Satish Bhatia, dermatologist and skin surgeon, Lady Ratan Tata Medical and Research Centre.
“This trend is rising despite the fact that the effect does not usually last for more than six-seven months,” Bhatia added.
Given that certain industries like hospitality, aviation and fashion place a premium on height and appearance, wearing heels becomes a norm, thus making women opt for the expensive solution to ease pain arising out of use of high heels.
“The dermal filler injection is injected in the ball of the foot to ease the pain caused by wearing high heels. The injection costs between Rs.12,000 and Rs.15,000,” he added.
Rajesh Malhotra, professor of orthopaedics, AIIMS, threw light on a few other ways of curing the pain arising out of extended use of stilettos.
“The best way to avoid pain is that one stops wearing high heels at all because they are the cause of the problem. But if that is not possible then there are a few treatments,” he said.
“The entire body pressure is on the ball of the foot; so among many treatments one is that we put the metatarsal bar on the sole of the footwear so that the entire body weight is not on the ball of the foot, which results in less pain,” Malhotra told.
If it is very essential to wear heels, the maximum height advised by doctors is not more than an inch.
“The height of the heel also changes the amount of weight on the forefoot. A one-inch heel will increase the pressure by 22 percent, a two-inch heel by 57 percent and a three-inch heel by 76 percent. So anything not more than an inch is fine,” said Jain.

More women are wearing higher heels, and for longer, and experts are increasingly concerned about the long-term damage they are doing to their feet. Recent research suggests that up to a third of women suffer permanent problems as a result of their prolonged wearing of ‘killer heels’, ranging from hammer toes and bunions to irreversible damage to leg tendons. (Pics)

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Adults Need to Wear Bicycle Helmets, Too

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Adults, especially over 30, need to wear bicycle helmets when riding their bikes.

Always with a helmet on her head, Catherine Talese rides her bicycle everywhere — to work, to the theater, out to dinner.  “There was a time when I didn’t wear a helmet; I thought I looked like a dork,” Ms. Talese, a freelance photography director who lives in Manhattan, told me recently. “But I’ve realized it’s not negotiable. Helmets are really your only safety gear in a city where pedestrians and drivers are still learning to share the road with bikers.”

 

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