Monthly Archives: March 2014

Dr. Atala on 3D tissue printing

Here’s a recent article by tissue engineering pioneer Dr. Anthony Atala. He makes a great point that printing tissue is beneficial not just so doctors can replace parts, but also so that drugs can be put through better testing.

He writes: “[I]n collaboration with five other institutions, we are working to print miniature hearts, lungs, blood vessels and livers onto “chips” that will be connected with a blood substitute. Called a “body on a chip,” the system has the potential to speed up the development of new drugs because it could potentially replace testing in animals, which can be slow, expensive and not always accurate.”


The Future of Brain Implants

Brain implants are on their way, say Dr. Gary Marcus of NYU and Dr. Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

“By the end of this century, and quite possibly much sooner, every input device that has ever been sold will be obsolete. Forget the “heads-up” displays that the high-end car manufactures are about to roll out, allowing drivers to see data without looking away from the road. By the end of the century, many of us will be wired directly into the cloud, from brain to toe.”

Will this new world be challenging? Perhaps, but the authors cite President Ronald Reagan on who will thrive in the future: “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.”

Craig Venter & Human Longevity Inc

The Financial Times posted an interesting article about Craig Venter and his new longevity company, Human Longevity Inc. When the journalist asks him if his company is in competition with Google’s Calico (also set up to extend human healthspan), Venter says this:

“I turn 68 later this year and if they solve ageing before we do, I will kiss the rings and buy their products.”

Couldn’t agree more.

Culture clash in Silicon Valley? Young vs. Old?

While this article by a young computer science major feels naively ageist (assumes that older engineers are ‘intimidated’ by newer code), he also makes some interesting points about culture clashes between generations.

He says, “If you are 50, no matter how good your coding skills, you probably do not want to be called a “ninja” and go on bar crawls every weekend with your colleagues, which is exactly what many of my friends do.”

Of course, there are some of us who do indeed know 50 year olds that like both the Ninja title and a good dose of booze, but never mind…

Antibiotics cause weight gain in both animals and humans

A fascinating story from the NYT:

“[D]ecades of agricultural research has shown that antibiotics seem to flip a switch in young animals’ bodies, helping them pack on pounds.”

“In the 1950s, a team of scientists fed a steady diet of antibiotics to schoolchildren in Guatemala for more than a year,while Charles H. Carter, a doctor in Florida, tried a similar regimen on mentally disabled kids. Could the children, like the farm animals, grow larger? Yes, they could.”

Blog re-design!

Dear readers,

I hope you like the new design of this site. All the previous functions are still here, but it’s been updated with better colors and code.