White Blood Cell chasing and consuming a Bacterial Organism through a process called Phagocytosis
Watch this powerful short film dedicated to the sister of my friend, Eric. Sometimes in the darkness of it all we just need a little reminder that we actually can fight against what seems like never-ending and excruciating, untolerable pain. Talk to someone. You’re stronger than you think you are. You matter.
Not to mention, the direction, score, and visual effects (made by the amazing @linkfx) are pretty incredibly epic.
Still reeling from Saturday night’s new Daft Punk teaser?
If you’re like me, you probably wanted to know more about the only guy in the video who wasn’t Pharrell or Daft Punk. The Creators Project has a great series highlighting the collaborators from Random Access Memories. This installment is about that man, Nile Rogers, a legendary session guitarist. (EDIT: Yes, and also a legendary producer, composer, and arranger.)
This video is about the guy behind that amazing Bowie lick (and many more) that I always knew was there but never thought to ask, who’s playing that?!
A precious package arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday afternoon.
Inside, packed in dry ice to keep it frozen, was a vial containing millions of H7N9 viruses derived from a 35-year-old Chinese housewife who died last Tuesday of respiratory and kidney failure.
The package was addressed to the CDC’s top flu virologist,Nancy Cox. “Once we got the virus, we took it immediately to the appropriate level of biocontainment,” Cox tells Shots.
That would be a so-called biosafety level 3 lab, where researchers can keep this demonstrably dangerous virus under tight control.
“We unpacked it from the various levels of protection — that is, containers in which it is placed in order to ensure that it doesn’t spill,” Cox says. “And then the work actually began.”
There’s a lot of urgent work to do, according to scientists in far-flung labs, who also got samples of the virus at the end of last week.
In fact, the urgency increased this weekend with the discovery that a 7-year-old girl in Beijing fell ill with this new bird flu last Thursday. She was the daughter of poultry sellers, and contact with poultry may be the way many people have become infected.
She’s reportedly in stable condition, but the fact that the virus has begun to sicken people nearly 700 miles from the epidemic’s epicenter in Shanghai is a strong signal that the virus will not be contained to one region of China — and perhaps not to China.
As of Monday morning, the current caseload of the new flu has climbed passed 60. Fourteen people have died, and most of the survivors have gotten severely ill.
Photograph by AFP/Getty Images
Hold onto your butts. H5N7 might be headed our way if it adapts even more to our systems.
“But insurers are also still grappling with their understanding of human nature — why some people simply don’t take care of themselves or take their medicine or go to the doctor, even when it is clear that they should.”
-NY Times, At-Risk Patients Gain Attention of Health Insurers, February 28, 2012
This comes from an article about how by 2014, insurance companies ”will prosper only if they are able to coordinate care and prevent patients from reaching that top 1 percent.” That 1% is where patients spend over $100,000 a year on a chronic health condition.
“Our ingrained habits change us. Neurons that fire together, wire together, neuroscientists like to say, reflecting the increasing evidence that experiences leave imprints on our neural pathways, a phenomenon called neuroplasticity. Any habit molds the very structure of your brain in ways that…
Reminder to self.
For UCLA bioengineering professor Wentai Liu, more than two decades of visionary research burst into the headlines last month when the FDA approved what it called “the first bionic eye for the blind.”
The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System — developed by a team of physicians and engineers from around the country — aids adults who have lost their eyesight due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), age-related macular degeneration or other eye diseases that destroy the retina’s light-sensitive photoreceptors.
At the heart of the device is a tiny yet powerful computer chip developed by Liu that, when implanted in the retina, effectively sidesteps the damaged photoreceptors to “trick” the eye into seeing. The Argus II operates with a miniature video camera mounted on a pair of eyeglasses that sends information about images it detects to a microprocessor worn on the user’s waistband. The microprocessor wirelessly transmits electronic signals to the computer chip, a fingernail-size grid made up of 60 circuits. These chips stimulate the retina’s nerve cells with electronic impulses which head up the optic nerve to the brain’s visual cortex. There, the brain assembles them into a composite image.
Recipients of the retinal implant can read oversized letters of the alphabet, discern objects and movement, and even see the outlines and some details of faces. And while the picture is far from perfect — the healthy human eye sees at a much higher resolution — it’s a breakthrough for people like the first patient, a man in his 70s who was blinded at age 20 by RP, to receive the implant in clinical trials. “It was the first time he’d seen light in a half-century,” said Liu, adding that “it feels good as the engineer” to have helped make this possible.
Liu joined the Artificial Retina Project in 1988 as a professor of computer and electrical engineering at North Carolina State University. The multidisciplinary research project was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science because it envisioned a potential pandemic of eyesight loss in America’s aging population. Leading the project was Duke University ophthalmologist and neurosurgeon Dr. Mark Humayun, now on faculty at USC. He tapped Liu to engineer the artificial retina.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Liu said. “But I asked, ‘What can I do?’ because I didn’t know much about biology.” Humayun handed him a six-inch-thick medical manual on the retina. “The learning curve was very steep,” Liu recalled with a laugh.
However, Liu’s fellow engineers questioned his sanity. “I was working on integrated chip design and had just gotten tenure when I signed on to this project. They said, ‘You’re crazy!’ But I’m glad I made that choice, getting into this new field.”