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COVID-19 vaccines by Oxford, CanSino and Pfizer all trigger immune responses
  • Tests of different vaccines are showing promise, but scientists still don’t know how to identify a protective (immune) response to the COVID virus.
  • So even though vaccines trigger the creation of antibodies, similar to those developed by people who recovered from COVID, the long-term effect is unclear.
  • There are almost 200 vaccine candidates being worked on at the moment, and over 20 clinical trials around the world.
  • Further results from vaccine tests might be known by the end of the year.

Severely Damaged Human Lungs Can Now Be Successfully Recovered
  • Using a new cross-circulation platform, scientists successfully recover a severely injured, declined for transplantation lung in 24 hours.
  • The new technique enables natural biological repair mechanisms by circulating blood between the lung and an animal host, and it has been in development for eight years.
  • It took 25 investigators with expertise in various disciplines in order to achieve this.
  • It’s possible that the cross-circulation could be done with a human host - an ill person waiting for a transplant.
  • Study authors emphasize that a lot more work needs to be done before this can be used in real life scenarios.

Socially Distant Surgery Is Now Possible Nine Miles Away
  • Remote surgery has been around since 2001, and has developed slowly due to tech limitations - however now, with 5G networks, it is easier than ever.
  • In proof of concept, Italian surgeons recently performed a vocal cord surgery procedure (on a corpse) from 9 miles away.
  • The surgeons operated a robotic arm and laser system using a tablet with a haptic device and 3D goggles.
  • Study authors conclude that this system could be used for other laser surgeries, as well as other types of surgeries that can be performed by robots.
  • It is still years from being certified for human use, but the most important conclusion is that with 5G networks it is now a viable option to pursue.

In Situ Expansion, Differentiation, and Electromechanical Coupling of Human Cardiac Muscle in a 3D Bioprinted, Chambered Organoid
  • New bioink allows scientists to 3D-print a human heart with - for the first time - cardiac muscles that can pump.
  • It’s a huge step towards printing hearts to replace animal models in transplants, it can also be used for testing cardiac medical devices.
  • In order to achieve this, study authors had to find a way to achieve the right density of cardiomyocytes, which are notoriously hard to grow.
  • They did it by adding pluripotent (=able to grow into different cells) stem cells into the printed structure first, and turning them into cardiomyocytes inside the printed heart.

Toxic air pollution nanoparticles found in heart cell 'powerhouses' of city dwellers
  • Iron-rich nanoparticles, identical to those emitted from vehicles and industrial sources, found in the hearts of a 26-year-old as well as a 3-year-old toddler.
  • The hearts belonged to Mexico City citizens who died in accidents, and were studied with high-resolution electron microscopy and X-rays.
  • Within these hearts, the nanoparticles appear to have damaged the mitochondria (they make the heart pump), evidenced by deformities and ruptured membranes.
  • Big city dwellers may have up to ten times more nanoparticle pollution in their hearts than people living in less polluted places.
  • Research authors warn that governments around the world need to take action to reduce nanoparticle pollution in order to protect people from heart disease.




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