Archive for the ‘Living in the Future’ Category

Welcome to the Future…

…where growing transplant organs in a lab is just something we do now. In short, doctors recently grew a replacement windpipe for a man who was stricken with cancer. The tumor had grown large enough to partially cut off his windpipe, making breathing difficult.

“As a first step, a team led by Alexander Seifalian of University College London used plastic materials and nanotechnology to make an artificial version of the scaffold in the lab. It was closely modeled on the shape and size of the Eritrean man’s windpipe.

Meanwhile, researchers at Harvard Bioscience Inc. of Holliston, Mass., made a bioreactor, a shoe-box-size device similar to a spinning rotisserie machine. The artificial scaffold was placed on the bioreactor, and stem cells extracted from the patient’s bone marrow were dripped onto the revolving scaffold for two days.”

They then transplanted this replacement windpipe, saving the man’s life. The article reports that he is recovering well.

Basically we live in a world where doctors can regrow custom replacements for your organs. They work from stem cells taken from your own body, so there’s no risk of rejection, and since the organs can be grown to spec, there’s no need to wait and hope for an appropriate donor. The refinement of this technology will save millions of lives and totally obviate the need for tissue and organ donors.

Congratulations and many thanks to the teams of doctors, surgeons, and scientists who gave us this great medical breakthrough, and best wishes and a speedy recovery to the history-making patient.

Whole Lot of History

Most mind-blowing chart I’ve seen in awhile.


Measured in years lived, the present century, which is only ten years old, is already “longer” than the whole of the 17th century. This century has made an even bigger contribution to economic history. Over 23% of all the goods and services made since 1AD were produced from 2001 to 2010, according to … Angus Maddison’s figures.

Living in the future…

…as a member of a tool-using species. And damn, but our tools have gotten awesome.

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Magic Blue Smoke

House Rules:

1.) Carry out your own dead.
2.) No opium smoking in the elevators.
3.) In Competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
4.) A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place.
4a.) Penalty one stroke.
5.) Pilsner should be in Roman type, and begin with a capital.
6.) Keep Calm and Kill It with Fire.
7.) Spammers will be fed to the Crabipede.