Friday Four

Friday, February 10, 2012

1. Drew Sharp of The Detroit Free Press considers the game-winning "reluctant touchdown" in the Super Bowl and concludes that short field goals ought to be worth only two points.

Lessening the value of a chip shot -- of course, you can ask Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff about the ease of a "chip shot" -- would be consistent with the offense-centricity of the NFL's rules. The league despises defense, and this change could inspire a more aggressive offensive approach in the red zone.

But more important, it wouldn't as easily reward surrendering.
I'm not sold, but I can see why he makes the argument.

2. I'm not exactly a fan, but still, look who's standing up for himself!
You don't like that your coworker used me on that note about stealing her yogurt from the break room fridge? You don't like that I'm all over your sister-in-law's blog? You don't like that I’m on the sign for that new Thai place? You think I’m pedestrian and tacky? Guess the fuck what, Picasso. We don't all have seventy-three weights of stick-up-my-ass Helvetica sitting on our seventeen-inch MacBook Pros. Sorry the entire world can't all be done in stark Eurotrash Swiss type.
Read the whole thing.

3. A research group may have found a way to heal broken bones in days. A posting at Slashdot quotes an anonymous source:
If we break a bone it can take weeks or even month to heal depending on the type and severity of the break. In some extreme cases the complexity of the fracture can make it impossible to heal properly. Researchers at the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center have come up with a new solution for healing broken bones that cuts recovery time to days. It relies on the use of stem cells that contain a bone generating protein. These cells are injected in gel form directly into the area of the broken bone, where they quickly get to work forming new bone. The end result is very rapid recovery, possibly sidestepping the muscle atrophy that can come with long bone healing times. The gel has been proven to work on animals as big as a sheep and has funding from the DoD. Lets hope it is proven to work on humans in the coming years.
And let's also hope the theocrats and the FDA don't put a stop to it if this does work on humans.

4. Another research group has successfully replaced a woman's entire jawbone with one created in a 3-D printer.

-- CAV


Jennifer Snow said...

That's a cool story about bone healing. The main problem with the healing of bone tissue is that your body is programmed *not* to create new bone tissue--if you did, it'd be very bad for you. However, this also means that bone damage can be slow to heal.

The tissue bank where I used to work made a product very similar to this gel, but it didn't use stem cells. Instead, they simply demineralized regular bone cells. Your bone cells normally get embedded in a thick layer of calcium and basically go dormant (they're the only cells in the body that can live without blood supply).

When you get rid of the encasing layer of minerals, the cells that build and destroy bone basically wake up, realize they ought to be doing something, and set to work. So it seems to be the case that your body has the machinery in place to heal bone rapidly, it just doesn't operate very well without a kickstart.

Gus Van Horn said...

I know very little about bone, but the problem of repairing it does seem to offer lots of interesting problems and opportunities. I'm the direct beneficiary of an accidental discovery: that bone integrates with titanium.