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A laboratory-grown windpipe

Created date

November 22nd, 2011
Science has been advancing for years with regard to artificial or prosthetic body parts. You ve heard about artificial limbs, joints, and hearts, but now doctors in Sweden have successfully implanted an artificial windpipe (trachea) in a 36-year-old man with cancer. Artificial tracheas have been transplanted before using parts of a donor s trachea, but this artificial organ is the first permanent one made with a plastic polymer and the patient s stem cells (taken from his bone marrow). His body is unlikely to reject the organ because it s made from his own cells. Even more remarkable, the man-made windpipe was grown from scratch in only two days.

Improve your hearing to protect your brain

A recent study has shown that even mild hearing loss may cause parts of your brain to waste away. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania measured the brain volume of older adults with hearing loss and found that the gray matter portion of the brain responsible for hearing functions was less than that of people with normal hearing. This could be because the brain adjusts itself when a sense is altered, and less activity occurs in the area of the brain associated with the deficit. In addition, overall research shows that a decrease in hearing ability is associated with decreased perception and thinking abilities. So don t wait to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing hearing loss.