Just over a month ago, physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College and biomedical engineers at Cornell University announced in New York that with the help of living cells, they had successfully created an exact copy of the human ear that looks and behaves like the natural one.
In three years, according to a release from the University, doctors are hoping they can try the first human implant of their bioengineered ear in a bid to help thousands of children born each year with a congenital ear deformity.
Current solutions, according to doctors, are built from materials with a Styrofoam-like quality or the rib of a young patient. "This surgical option is very challenging and painful for children, and the ears rarely look totally natural or perform well," notes Dr. Jason Spector, director of the Laboratory for Bioregenerative Medicine and Surgery (LBMS) at Weill Cornell, in the release. And he is not alone in seeking more seamless, less painful solutions to repairing the human body. more >>
After an announcement last year that a series of experiments in the United States had resulted in the birth of 30 healthy genetically modified babies, genetics experts are now debating whether or not further development of designer offspring should be banned.
Just 16 years ago, the concept of genetic perfection was the stuff of Hollywood movies like "Gattaca." Fast forward to just over a month ago, however, and experts were busy debating over whether genetically engineered babies should be prohibited in a session hosted in New York City by Intelligence Squared U.S.
Arguing for prohibition were Professor Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University and chair of the Council for Responsible Genetics, and Lord Robert Winston, professor of Science and Society and emeritus professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College. more >>
Scientists announced Thursday that they believe a subatomic particle discovered last year is indeed the Higgs boson, or "God particle," they have been searching for.
"The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is," said Joe Incandela, spokesperson for the CMS physics team, in a statement.
The findings were announced during the Moriond Conference, a gathering of physicists in the Italian Alps. more >>
Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas has come under fire by creationist Ken Ham, after the Texas preacher suggested that the universe might indeed be 13.7 billion years old, as modern science claims.
"It is so distressing that so many of our Christian leaders don't seem to understand that to accept man's fallible beliefs of billions of years, Big Bang etc, they are really undermining the authority of God's Word," Ham, president/CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis–U.S. and the Creation Museum, wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday.
"To send a signal to coming generations that one can accept such false ideas like the Big Bang and billions of years they are taught at public school and secular colleges (and many compromising Christian Colleges) is a major factor why so many of the coming generations begin to doubt the authority of the Word of God," the creationist added. more >>
Wildlife documentaries should show more homosexual activity in the animal kingdom, an academic study complains.
These documentaries should be showing "a wider perspective on animal behavior," Dr. Brett Mills says, according to The Independent.
Mills, a senior lecturer at the School of Film, Television and Media Studies and the University of East Anglia in Norfolk, U.K., published his study, "The animals went in two by two: Heteronormativity in television wildlife documentaries," in the February 2013, issue of the European Journal of Cultural Studies. more >>
A study found that a person's political party identification can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy by examining which part of their brain processes risk.
Democrats, or liberals, showed greater activity in their left insula; Republicans, or conservatives, showed greater activity in their right amygdala, found researchers Darren Schreiber, Greg Fonzo, Alan N. Simmons, Christopher T. Dawes, Taru Flagan, James H. Fowler and Martin P. Paulus. The results of the study were published by PLoS ONE in an article called, "Red Brain, Blue Brain: Evaluative Processes Differ in Democrats and Republicans."
For the study, 82 participants were asked to complete an exercise in which they were required to choose between risky or safe choices in order to get a financial reward. They could choose a safe bet for an automatic small reward, or they could choose a risky bet in which they could get nothing or they could get a much larger reward. more >>