As a science enthusiast I’m constantly looking for articles and blog posts that reaffirm my love for science. Here are just a few of my favourites for this week:
World’s First ‘Menstrual Cycle in a Dish’ Simulates Female Body.
Many of safety tests carried out for new drugs use mainly male volunteers due to the complexity of the female menstrual cycle. The changes the female body undergoes during the cycle can affect both the drugs affect on the body and the body’s affect on the drug. This can cause problems when the drug is prescribed to women for the first time in areas such as dosing and safety. A new device made to model the female menstrual cycle could help to address some of these issues.
‘When I met Chloe she was dead’: one girl, four hearts and an NHS miracle.
This article in Guardian explains how Chloe Narbonne became the first child in Britain and the youngest person in Europe to receive an artificial heart. Although not a permanent fix, artificial hearts can buy recipients like Chloe crucial time until a donor heart becomes available. Click the link the below to read how this risky procedure saved Chloe’s life.
Oldest tooth filling was made by an Ice Age dentist in Italy.
Archaeologists have found evidence of dentistry dating back 13,000 years! A pair of teeth found in Italy are thought to contain the earliest known use of fillings which included bitumen (possibly as an anaesthetic), hair and plant fibres. If modern day dentists scare you, be thankful you aren’t subjected to ice age dentistry which probably involved stone based tools to drill out cavities.
Turning skin cells into blood vessel cells while keeping them young.
Researchers from the University of Illinois have identified a molecular switch which can convert skin cells into cells that make up blood vessels. The technique involves reverting the cells to an earlier progenitor stage which can then be influenced to differentiate into blood vessel cells or even red blood cells.
Let me know what you thought about my top picks in the comments or on Twitter and please send me any articles that piqued your interest this week!