Will 3D Printers Manufacture Human Organs?
A Dutch woman has received a jaw implant created layer by layer from a 3D printer. The maker of the machine says human organs could one day be printed using organic 'ink'.
What's the Latest Development?
The results of a groundbreaking surgery, involving a woman who received a prosthetic jaw created by a 3D printer, have just been published. Dutch surgeons who performed the operation say it is a one-of-a-kind procedure. Before the surgery, the jaw was designed specifically to fit the woman's face. Then it was sent to the printer, where titanium powder was fused with a laser layer by layer to create a complex implant involving articulated joints, cavities to promote muscle attachment and grooves to direct the regrowth of nerves.
What's the Big Idea?
3D printers have been forecast to revolutionize manufacturing, allowing small businesses to create and test innovative products like never before. Now, the printers seem poised to usher in a new era of personalized prosthesis. And the future looks even more promising. Engineers at LayerWise, the company whose printer built the jaw, say that their ultimate goal is to print human organs ready for transplant. While biological and chemical problems still need solving, printing organs would technically be possible using an organic 'ink'.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.
- The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
- It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
- On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
Dogs' floppy ears may be part of why they and other domesticated animals love humans so much.
- Nearly all domestic animals share several key traits in addition to friendliness to humans, traits such as floppy ears, a spotted coat, a shorter snout, and so on.
- Researchers have been puzzled as to why these traits keep showing up in disparate species, even when they aren't being bred for those qualities. This is known as "domestication syndrome."
- Now, researchers are pointing to a group of a cells called neural crest cells as the key to understanding domestication syndrome.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.