How 3D Printing Could End The Deadly Shortage Of Donor Organs

3d printing organs

Three-dimensional printing has been used to make everything from pizza to prostheses, and now researchers are working on using the emerging technology to fabricate hearts, kidneys, and other vital human organs.

That would be very big news, as the number of people who desperately need an organ transplant far outstrips the number of donor organs available. On average, about 21 Americans die every day because a needed organ was unavailable.

What exactly is the promise of 3D printing organs and tissues, or “

For answers to these and other questions, HuffPost Science reached out to Dr. Anthony Atala (right), director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and a world-renowned expert in the field, to find out.

See below for a lightly edited version of the Q & A.

Can 3D printing end the shortage of organs?

3D printing is not magic. It is simply a way to scale up the current processes we use to engineer organs in the laboratory. Our team has successfully engineered bladders, cartilage, skin, urine tubes and vaginas that have been implanted in patients. Our goal is produce organ structures such as these with 3D printing to make the —> Read More Here

How Meditation Primes The Mind For Spiritual Experiences

The practice of mindfulness dates back at least 2,500 years to early Buddhism, and since then, it’s played an important role in a number of spiritual traditions.

While the stillness and connecting with one’s inner self cultivated through mindfulness are certainly an important part of a spiritual practice, feelings of wonder and awe — the amazement we get when faced with incredible vastness — are also central to the spiritual experience. And according to new research, mindfulness may actually set the stage for awe.

Mindfulness is the key element of the spiritual experience in a number of different religions.

Awe is defined as a feeling of amazement of fascination and amazement invoked by an encounter with something larger than ourselves that is beyond our ordinary frameworks of understanding. Previous research has shown that spirituality, nature and art are the most common ways that we experience awe.

“You can’t digest [the object of awe] with your cognitive structures — it’s too big for you,” University of Groningen psychologist Dr. Brian Ostafin told the Huffington Post. “So there’s a need for accommodation, to change your mental structures to understand what that is. This is the key element of the spiritual —> Read More Here

Astronauts Take Third Spacewalk To Complete Tricky Cable Job At International Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) โ€” Spacewalking astronauts ventured out for the third time in just over a week Sunday to complete an extensive, tricky cable job at the International Space Station.

The advance work โ€” involving nearly 800 feet of cable over three spacewalks โ€” is needed for new crew capsules commissioned by NASA. A pair of docking ports will fly up later this year, followed by the capsules themselves, with astronauts aboard, in 2017. American astronauts Terry Virts and Butch Wilmore had 400 more feet of power and data cable, as well as two antennas, to install Sunday. They successfully routed 364 feet on their first two excursions, on Feb. 21 and last Wednesday.

NASA hasn’t conducted such a quick succession of spacewalks since its former shuttle days, and the amount of cable work is unprecedented. Even more spacewalks will be needed once new docking ports start arriving in June.

“Good luck, guys,” Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti said from inside as the spacewalk got underway early.

Before approving Sunday’s spacewalk, engineers spent two days analyzing a water leak in Virts’ helmet that occurred at the end of Wednesday’s outing.

A small amount of water got into Virts’ helmet once he was back in the —> Read More Here

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