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News

Face Transplant - amazing

[GWG] Daeima AdminD.X.O. posted Fri at 14:00

Face transplant gives ex-firefighter his life back

14 pictures

Patrick Hardison before the transplant and a year later

Patrick Hardison before the transplant and a year later (Credit: NYU Langone Medical Center) View gallery (14 images)

One year ago, Patrick Hardison underwent the world's most extensive face transplant at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. The severely-burned Mississippi firefighter had lost most his facial and head features in the line of duty in 2001, but 15 years later the change is nothing short of dramatic. His doctors call his recovery "unprecedented" and holds promise for the future of similarly injured patients.

In September 2001, Hardison and three other firefighters were conducting a rescue search during a house fire in Mississippi when the ceiling caved in. Though he survived by holding his breath to protect his lungs, Hardison suffered severe third degree burns the his face, head, neck, and upper torso that destroyed his ears, lips, most of his nose, and almost all of his eyelid tissue – leaving his face, even with the best medical efforts, a mass of scar tissue.

In 2015, after years of treatment in hospital and over 70 procedures, a team of 100 surgeons and medical professionals led by Eduardo D Rodriguez, the chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone, performed a face transplant on Hardison that was more complex than any previously attempted.

Because of the extent of Hardison's injuries, the team had no framework to build on, so they relied on advanced 3D modeling and 3D-printed cutting guides to match together Hardison and the donor organs.

The initial results were already dramatic, but after a year of recovery and several follow-up operations to adjust Hardison's new eyelids and lips; removal of his abdominal feeding tube and tracheal breathing tube; revisions to his forehead, eyes, lips, chin, and ears, he is now able to engage in previously impossible activities, such as swimming and driving.

"We are amazed at Pat's recovery, which has surpassed all of our expectations," says Rodriguez. "Most significant is the lack of a rejection episode. We believe this has much to do with the methodical approach we took in the matching process to ensure that Patrick's donor provided the most favorable match. Doing so also has allowed us to reduce the levels of certain medications that Pat takes to prevent rejection."

According to Rodriquez, Hardison now has normally functioning eyelids, which not only improves his appearance, but has also saved his eyesight by allowing him to blink to moisten and cleanse his eyes. Rodriguez calls this a "game changer" for reconstructive surgery.

In addition, the use of selective facial bone structure, along with the chin of the donor, gave Hardison natural bone marrow stem cells to help the transplanted face heal after surgery.

"Pat has been incredibly compliant with his postsurgical regimen, and that has allowed us to expedite his surgical schedule," says Rodriguez. "He is extremely committed to daily exercise, taking his medications and meeting with his physicians regularly. All of this has put him way ahead of schedule in terms of getting to the optimal level of recovery and appearance."

Hardison says that he's now ready to meet the family of David Rodebaugh, the 26-year old Brooklyn artist and cycling enthusiast from Ohio, who donated his face and other organs after his death in a cycling accident.

"The surgery has truly given me back my life," says Hardison. "I go about my day just like everyone else. It's allowed me to do things with my family that I had not been able to do. I can't tell you what a sense of freedom it is to even drive my kids to school. We recently went on a family vacation to Disney World, and I swam in the pool with them — something I hadn't done in 15 years.

"There are no more stares, no more frightened children running away from me. I'm pretty much just a normal guy. Now, I want to help others to pursue this type of surgery, especially fellow firefighters and members of the armed services. There definitely is hope."

According to Helen Irving, president and CEO of LiveOnNY, the organ recovery organization for the greater New York metropolitan area, New York State is considering new legislation to encourage organ donation, and the US Defense Department has provided research funding and other support in the reconstructive surgery field.

"We have entered a new era in transplant surgery," says Rodriguez. "The work being done, not only in face transplantation, but also in areas like hand, uterine and penile transplantation, is pushing the boundaries of medicine and surgery and opening up new avenues to restore the lives of people like Patrick. It's a very exciting time."

Hardison's operation is detailed in a number of papers published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

The video below shows Patrick Hardison today.

Source: NYU Langone Medical Center

View gallery - 14 images

Mercedes - Maybach 6

[GWG] Daeima AdminD.X.O. posted Aug 21, 16

Gargantuan Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 elegantly combines past and future

16 pictures

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a long, low throwback coupe

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a long, low throwback coupe. View gallery (16 images)

After teasing and taunting us, Mercedes has whipped the cover off the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 at Pebble Beach.

The enormous coupe harks back to a time where excess wasn't frowned upon on the outside, but is thoroughly modern underneath the skin.

Put simply, it looks brilliant.

There's always a risk that cars designed with one eye on the past will look overblown an unoriginal, but the Mercedes design team has managed to make the Vision 6 look modern and old-fashioned at the same time. It's a gorgeous piece of design, measuring up at almost 6 meters (19.6 ft) long for maximum impact.

Up front, the grille's vertical struts are inspired by pinstriped suits, and there's a traditional three-pointed star sitting proud of the nose. Lower down, the bumper is trimmed in chrome to match the grille. While we're talking about the nose, there's no avoiding the looooong bonnet stretching out in front of the cabin. In the past a high-powered V8 or V12 might have been nestled underneath, but in the Vision 6 the nose plays host to two specially designed suitcases.


In spite of its size, the electric powertrain means the Vision 6 is still quick off the mark. 0-100 km/h (62 mph) takes less than four seconds, and the top speed is electrically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph).

Take a walk along the side of the Vision, and eagle-eyed concept spotters will notice there are a few similarities to the Concept IAA launched in Frankfurt last year. The 24-inch wheels are based on the IAA's aero-shutter rims, and the sloping rear deck mimics the shape of its tail with the aerodynamic segments extended.

The exterior combination of old-world grandeur and modern technology is continued on the inside, where elm wood and soft leather contrast with a display integrated into the windscreen and upper dashboard. Although there are two traditional hooded dials sat behind the steering wheel, everything from mapping to seat settings are controlled through the wraparound glass screen, while the windscreen acts like a gesture-controlled HUD.

Both the driver and passenger sit in white lounge-style leather seats with built-in body sensors. Having measured an occupant's vital signs, the sensors are able to tweak the climate control, seat massaging and cabin lighting. In spite of the car's gargantuan size, Mercedes make no mention of any rear seats.

At the moment, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is just a concept. It's on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, which runs until August 21.

Check out the launch video for the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 below. ( Volume is a bit loud... )

Source: Mercedes

View gallery - 16 images

[GWG] BrushWolf Sexy except for the no profile tires, they make the tires on an F1 car look like standard 75 series tires.
[GWG] Daeima AdminD.X.O. Just 2? Pfft...pocket change laddie :d
[GWS] obamaphoneeric AdminGWS P.O. wow that's totally weird, i just ordered 2 of these last week. You must have read my mind.

Think of a traditional robot and you probably imagine something made from metal and plastic. Such "nuts-and-bolts" robots are made of hard materials. As robots take on more roles beyond the lab, such rigid systems can present safety risks to the people they interact with. For example, if an industrial robot swings into a person, there is the risk of bruises or bone damage.

Researchers are increasingly looking for solutions to make robots softer or more compliant — less like rigid machines, more like animals. With traditional actuators — such as motors — this can mean using air muscles or adding springs in parallel with motors. For example, on a Whegs robot, having a spring between a motor and the wheel leg (Wheg) means that if the robot runs into something (like a person), the spring absorbs some of the energy so the person isn't hurt. The bumper on a Roomba vacuuming robot is another example; it's spring-loaded so the Roomba doesn't damage the things it bumps into.

But there's a growing area of research that's taking a different approach. By combining robotics with tissue engineering, we're starting to build robots powered by living muscle tissue or cells. These devices can be stimulated electrically or with light to make the cells contract to bend their skeletons, causing the robot to swim or crawl. The resulting biobots can move around and are soft like animals. They're safer around people and typically less harmful to the environment they work in than a traditional robot might be. And since, like animals, they need nutrients to power their muscles, not batteries, biohybrid robots tend to be lighter too.

Researchers fabricate biobots by growing living cells, usually from heart or skeletal muscle of rats or chickens, on scaffolds that are nontoxic to the cells. If the substrate is a polymer, the device created is a biohybrid robot — a hybrid between natural and human-made materials.

If you just place cells on a molded skeleton without any guidance, they wind up in random orientations. That means when researchers apply electricity to make them move, the cells' contraction forces will be applied in all directions, making the device inefficient at best.

So to better harness the cells' power, researchers turn to micropatterning. We stamp or print microscale lines on the skeleton made of substances that the cells prefer to attach to. These lines guide the cells so that as they grow, they align along the printed pattern. With the cells all lined up, researchers can direct how their contraction force is applied to the substrate. So rather than just a mess of firing cells, they can all work in unison to move a leg or fin of the device.

Beyond a wide array of biohybrid robots, researchers have even created some completely organic robots using natural materials, like the collagen in skin, rather than polymers for the body of the device. Some can crawl or swim when stimulated by an electric field. Some take inspiration from medical tissue engineering techniques and use long rectangular arms (or cantilevers) to pull themselves forward.

Others have taken their cues from nature, creating biologically inspired biohybrids. For example, a group led by researchers at California Institute of Technology developed a biohybrid robot inspired by jellyfish. This device, which they call a medusoid, has arms arranged in a circle. Each arm is micropatterned with protein lines so that cells grow in patterns similar to the muscles in a living jellyfish. When the cells contract, the arms bend inwards, propelling the biohybrid robot forward in nutrient-rich liquid.

More recently, researchers have demonstrated how to steer their biohybrid creations. A group at Harvard used genetically modified heart cells to make a biologically inspired manta ray-shaped robot swim. The heart cells were altered to contract in response to specific frequencies of light — one side of the ray had cells that would respond to one frequency, the other side's cells responded to another.

When the researchers shone light on the front of the robot, the cells there contracted and sent electrical signals to the cells further along the manta ray's body. The contraction would propagate down the robot's body, moving the device forward. The researchers could make the robot turn to the right or left by varying the frequency of the light they used. If they shone more light of the frequency the cells on one side would respond to, the contractions on that side of the manta ray would be stronger, allowing the researchers to steer the robot's movement.

While exciting developments have been made in the field of biohybrid robotics, there's still significant work to be done to get the devices out of the lab. Devices currently have limited lifespans and low force outputs, limiting their speed and ability to complete tasks. Robots made from mammalian or avian cells are very picky about their environmental conditions. For example, the ambient temperature must be near biological body temperature and the cells require regular feeding with nutrient-rich liquid. One possible remedy is to package the devices so that the muscle is protected from the external environment and constantly bathed in nutrients.


The sea slug Aplysia californica.
Credit: Jeff Gill, CC BY-ND

Another option is to use more robust cells as actuators. Here at Case Western Reserve University, we've recently begun to investigate this possibility by turning to the hardy marine sea slug Aplysia californica. Since A. californica lives in the intertidal region, it can experience big changes in temperature and environmental salinity over the course of a day. When the tide goes out, the sea slugs can get trapped in tide pools. As the sun beats down, water can evaporate and the temperature will rise. Conversely in the event of rain, the saltiness of the surrounding water can decrease. When the tide eventually comes in, the sea slugs are freed from the tidal pools. Sea slugs have evolved very hardy cells to endure this changeable habitat.

We've been able to use Aplysia tissue to actuate a biohybrid robot, suggesting that we can manufacture tougher biobots using these resilient tissues. The devices are large enough to carry a small payload — approximately 1.5 inches long and one inch wide.

A further challenge in developing biobots is that currently the devices lack any sort of on-board control system. Instead, engineers control them via external electrical fields or light. In order to develop completely autonomous biohybrid devices, we'll need controllers that interface directly with the muscle and provide sensory inputs to the biohybrid robot itself. One possibility is to use neurons or clusters of neurons called ganglia as organic controllers.

That's another reason we're excited about using Aplysia in our lab. This sea slug has been a model system for neurobiology research for decades. A great deal is already known about the relationships between its neural system and its muscles — opening the possibility that we could use its neurons as organic controllers that could tell the robot which way to move and help it perform tasks, such as finding toxins or following a light.

While the field is still in its infancy, researchers envision many intriguing applications for biohybrid robots. For example, our tiny devices using slug tissue could be released as swarms into water supplies or the ocean to seek out toxins or leaking pipes. Due to the biocompatibility of the devices, if they break down or are eaten by wildlife these environmental sensors theoretically wouldn't pose the same threat to the environment traditional nuts-and-bolts robots would.

One day, devices could be fabricated from human cells and used for medical applications. Biobots could provide targeted drug delivery, clean up clots or serve as compliant actuatable stents. By using organic substrates rather than polymers, such stents could be used to strengthen weak blood vessels to prevent aneurysms — and over time the device would be remodeled and integrated into the body. Beyond the small-scale biohybrid robots currently being developed, ongoing research in tissue engineering, such as attempts to grow vascular systems, may open the possibility of growing large-scale robots actuated by muscle.

[GWG] Daeima AdminD.X.O. Hmm....horse skin eh? Would the poop scoop be optional or standard?
[GWS] RedSpartacus Imagine they build cars like that. Maybe out of the skin of a horse. The good thing they would last way longer, the disa...
[GWG] Daeima AdminD.X.O. Yes amazing....and a bit creepy O.o

If you find yourself outside during the night this Thursday, don't forget to look up. On August 11 and 12, the biggest meteor shower of the year, the Perseids, will be lighting up the night sky, and this year the Perseids promise to be the best shower of the decade.

The Perseids typically peak in mid-August every year, when the Earth intersects with the trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Debris from the comet impacts the Earth's atmosphere and streaks across the sky, creating shooting stars.

Typically, the Perseids' peak features about 100 meteors per hour. But this year, we may see twice that many thanks to an "outburst," which occurs when the Earth runs into leftover debris from past orbits of the comet as well as debris from the current year. The extra material combines to create a truly spectacular meteor shower.

This year, the Perseids are expected to contain meteors from comet trails laid down in 1862, 1479, and 1079. This means that some of the meteors that will impact Earth's atmosphere next week broke off from the Comet Swift-Tuttle nearly a thousand years ago.

If you're planning to watch the Perseids, it's best to be prepared. The optimal time to see the meteor shower is from late at night on Thursday August 11 to early Friday morning on the 12th, before sunrise. Be sure to get plenty of rest if you're going to stay up late to watch the show.

Pick a spot that's far away from city lights that brighten the sky. The darker the sky, the better the viewing, so you may have to drive into the countryside. This tool can help you find a dark sky location nearby. Remember to give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the dark.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself and have fun! Meteor showers are always better with people, so bring some friends or loved ones along, and keep your eyes on the sky.

Source: EarthSky

The Miraikan, Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, has no shortage of wonders. But its latest temporary exhibit is of particular note: a robot with a neural network, a complex form of artificial intelligence that allows the robot to teach itself and act on its own teaching. It sings, it walks. It is named Alter.

This isn't self-awareness, just to be clear. Researchers around the world, including at major companies like Microsoft and Google, are betting on neural nets informing the robots of the future. With a neural net, a robot is given a function and a loose set of parameters with which to accomplish them. By creating artificial neurons, researchers are able to mimic chains of neuron connections. It isn't perfect yet, and many neural net AIs currently fail in their assigned tasks as often as they succeed. But what's important is that, hopefully, they're learning from that failure.

In Alter's case, the tasks are simple: movement and singing. Alter chooses what movements to make, even if they're illogical. Just check out this video from The Japan Times.

[GWG] Bitterfool Admin Gonna buy you a haunted Roomba
[GWS] obamaphoneeric AdminGWS P.O. I keep trying to out do myself with creepy robot uprising vids.....XD
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