International Intonation – March 13, 2013

Mark Hendricks, Contributor Ω

Guard the cheese, smart mice are here!

Last week scientists linked the brains of two mice and created telepathic mice capable of transmitting neural impulses across countries. This week scientists are making mice smarter by injecting them with human brain cells.

Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York have recently conducted a study in which they injected human glial progenitor cells into newborn mice. Glial cells surround neurons and hold them in place; supply nutrients to neurons; insulate one neuron from another; and destroy pathogens and dead neurons.

Six months after the injection the human progenitor cells had almost completely replaced the mouse’s glial progenitor cells.

The team also used another group of mice as a control and injected them with mouse glial progenitor cells to ensure it was the human cells that were making the difference, not that there were simply more brain cells.

The mice were then run through a series of tests and the mice that had the human progenitor cells were more capable in tests that involved learning and memory.

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Are the numbers wrong on climate change?

A study published in the March issue of Science, one of the world’s leading journals for scientific research, suggests that the actual numbers on climate change might not be what we thought they were. They’re worse.

A team of scientists, led by Shaun A. Marcott from Oregon State University, constructed detailed surface temperature data for the past 1,500 years and found that although the Earth has been getting warmer overall since the industrial revolution the Earth should have been getting colder.

“If you were to predict—based on where we are relative to the position of the sun and how we are tilted,” Marcott told CNN news, “you would predict that we would still be cooling, but we’re not.”

To get the data, Marcott and his team examined 73 sediment and polar ice samples taken from across the globe and analyzed the chemicals found within.

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Printing a skull

OsteoFab (1)Last week’s mentioned the Urbee 2, a 3-D printed car being constructed by Kor Product Designs. This week we have something that may be even more impressive.

On March 4, doctors used a 3-D printed implant to replace 75 per cent of a patient’s skull using an implant technology known as OsteoFab.

The benefit of using a 3-D printed implant is it gives total control over all aspects of construction. This allows doctors to create a perfect replica that matches the lost bone and encourages the growth of new cells.

OsteoFab plans to create 3-D printed bone replacements for the entire human skeleton.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of 3-D printed skull implants last month.

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