Coming Soon to a Body Near You: Advanced Medical Implants Made of Biodegradable Metal

A $1.5 million grant will allow researchers from a consortium of different schools develop body-degradable implants that can be calibrated to dissolve after a predetermined amount of time.

Body-degradable metals are not a new innovation; in fact, they've been in use for over a hundred years. So why is it such a big deal that a new $1.5 million grant by the National Science Foundation will now allow researchers included in a consortium of universities to develop medical implants made of dissolving metals? A press release from the University of Pittsburgh explains:


"The consortium seeks to design devices that can adapt to changes in a patient's body and dissolve once healing has occurred, reducing the follow-up procedures and potential complications of major orthopedic, craniofacial, and cardiovascular procedures and sparing millions of patients worldwide added pain and medical expenses."

If you've ever had a temporary medical implant inserted into your body, you know what a pain it is to eventually have it removed once healing is complete. You basically have to recover all over again after the second surgery. Now researchers at Pitt, as well as from other schools headed by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, are working to minimize the lasting effects of leaning on those metal implants.

Imagine you have a steel screw inserted into your face after reconstructive surgery. Once your features have been restored and facial bones are repaired, the screw simply dissolves. Doctors would be able to select specific screws for various recovery times. They also wouldn't have to worry about the screws dissolving too early if recovery takes longer than expected.

Take a look at the full release (linked below) to learn more.

Read more at Product Design & Development

Photo credit: Praisaeng / Shutterstock

Should you defend the free speech rights of neo-Nazis?

Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
  • In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

Moon mission 2.0: What humanity will learn by going back to the Moon

Going back to the moon will give us fresh insights about the creation of our solar system.

Videos
  • July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — Apollo 11.
  • Today, we have a strong scientific case for returning to the moon: the original rock samples that we took from the moon revolutionized our view of how Earth and the solar system formed. We could now glean even more insights with fresh, nonchemically-altered samples.
  • NASA plans to send humans to a crater in the South Pole of the moon because it's safer there, and would allow for better communications with people back on Earth.

NASA releases stunning image of ISS crossing in front of the sun

Strangely, the sun showed no sunspots at the time the photo was taken.

Image source: Rainee Colacurcio
Surprising Science
  • The photo shows the International Space Station as it orbits the Earth, as it does every 90 minutes.
  • The photo is remarkable because it offers a glimpse of the star at a time when there were no sunspots.
  • In November, astronauts aboard the ISS plan to grow Española chili pepper plants.
Keep reading Show less

U.S. Air Force warns UFO enthusiasts against storming Area 51

Jokesters and serious Area 51 raiders would be met with military force.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Facebook joke event to "raid Area 51" has already gained 1,000,000 "going" attendees.
  • The U.S. Air Force has issued an official warning to potential "raiders."
  • If anyone actually tries to storm an American military base, the use of deadly force is authorized.
Keep reading Show less