Ovarian Tissue Transplants Offer Fertility Hope To Cancer Survivors

LONDON (AP) — The biggest study ever of women who had ovarian tissue removed, frozen and transplanted suggests the experimental technique is safe and can help about one third of them to have babies.

The procedure is intended for women with cancer who wish to preserve their fertility, since cancer treatments can harm the ovaries. Scientists typically remove one ovary and cut it into strips before freezing them. Years later after the woman has recovered from cancer, doctors typically graft some of the thawed-out tissue onto the remaining ovary.

Researchers followed 41 women in Denmark who underwent the procedure from 2003 to 2014. Among the 32 women in the study who wanted children, 10 later got pregnant and gave birth. Globally, more than 36 babies have been born to women who had ovary transplants, with 14 in Denmark.

Unlike most countries, Denmark offers the treatment free to all women who qualify. The technique is not part of routine cancer care in Britain, but is available at some clinics there and in Europe, including Belgium and Germany.

“Once we transplant the ovarian tissue, it takes about four to five months for the ovary to get restarted,” said Dr. Claus Yding Andersen, the study’s senior author. The paper was published online Wednesday in the journal, Human Reproduction.

In some cases, the transplanted tissue lasted for up to 10 years, much longer than scientists had predicted.

The ovarian tissue that kept working so long probably had more eggs to begin with, said Mark Fenwick, a lecturer in reproductive and developmental medicine at Sheffield University. He said mothers and babies required close monitoring although no potential problems linked to the technique have been spotted so far.

In the study, three women later had a cancer relapse, but Andersen said that didn’t appear to be linked to the transplant.

“This technique still needs —> Read More

Researchers need to pay attention to differences in self-control

Whether it’s resisting buying a candy bar in the checkout lane or purchasing an unneeded pair of shoes on sale at the mall, self-control varies from person to person. Researchers must pay attention to these differences in individuals’ self-control when assessing the impact of public policies, according to a new study by marketing and consumer behavior experts at Rice University and Vanderbilt University. —> Read More

NASA Just Released Thousands Of New Photos Of Outer Space

If you’ve ever wanted to experience space from the perspective of an astronaut, here’s your chance.

This week, NASA released 11,660 photos from its Project Apollo Archive, over 8,400 of which are from the agency’s lunar missions. Astronauts carrying modified Hasselblad cameras shot every photograph, making this collection an incredibly thorough and personal collection of pictures.

The archive documents the Apollo space program, from the Apollo 7 mission, the first manned test flight in the lunar landing program in 1968, to Apollo 17, the final lunar mission in 1972. It includes beautiful photos of Earth, close-ups of the moon’s surface and even astronaut selfies. You can see some of the shots in the video above.

The best part is, all of these photos are public domain and freely available to view.

You can check out all the photos on the Project Apollo Archive’s official Flickr account. We’ve collected some of our favorite snaps in the slideshow below.

You can also view a video of a spacewalk filmed on a GoPro below.

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—> Read More

This Is How Scientists ‘Collect’ Lava

For volcanologists in Hawaii, collecting lava is just another day at the office.

Kilauea, located on Hawaii’s Big Island, is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. The scientists who study its activity spend their days observing flows, analyzing lava samples and doing one of the coolest jobs ever.

The U.S. Geological Survey recently uploaded video footage from the point of view of a geologist collecting a lava sample, and the process looks too simple (and too awesome) to be true.

Geologists wear protective clothing — the temperature of the lava can blister exposed skin even from a distance — and use steel rock hammers to tear open the cooled shell that surrounds the molten lava, which is typically about 2,100 degrees fahrenheit.

Since the rock hammer is comparatively cold, the lava solidifies slightly and slides easily off the hammer into a bucket of water.

The molten lava makes the water boil immediately, and according to USGS, “a fast ‘quench’ is needed to avoid chemical changes that result from the formation of crystals during slow cooling.”

A portion of the sample is saved for an archive while the rest is sent to be analyzed to determine its chemical composition and eruption temperature. Lava sample analysis helps the scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory understand the inner workings of Kilauea.

“For example, we can tell the difference between magma that has moved up quickly from deep within the Earth and magma that has been stored for many years in a shallow reservoir within the volcano,” Janet Babb, a USGS geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told The Huffington Post.

Tim Orr, the geologist whose perspective we are privy to in the footage, says there is rarely a dull moment when working with volcanoes, but —> Read More

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