Could the Ways Animals Regenerate Hair and Feathers Lead to Clues to Restore Human Fingers and Toes?

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This summer’s action film, “The Amazing Spider-Man™,” is another match-up between the superhero and his nemesis the Lizard. Moviegoers and comic book fans alike will recall that the villain, AKA Dr. Curt Connors, was a surgeon who, after losing an arm, experimented with cell generation and reptilian DNA and was eventually able to grow back his missing limb. The latest issue of the journal Physiology Continue reading

Restore your Health and Rejuvenate your Body with Ayurvedic Panchakarma

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These days, it’s virtually impossible to avoid the toxins, stress, radiation, smoke and synthetic chemicals that damage our bodies and minds and that reduce vitality. We may think that these stressors have recently come into existence, but they have probably been around in one form or another since the very beginning of man-kind. Many methods have been used to neutralize these toxins and purify the body, but perhaps the oldest of these has received very little attention recently.

Ayurveda’s “Panchakarma” literally means five therapies. They include Vamana (therapeutic emesis or vomiting), Virechana (therapeutic purgations), Basti (enema), Nasya (nasal drops) and Rakta Mokshana (blood-letting). They are generally followed by a course of Rasayana (rejuvenation) to arrest the ageing process and promote radiant vitality.

Each one of these has very specific indications in both the management and prevention of disease. Depending on the dosha (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha), Continue reading

New Composite Material May Restore Damaged Soft Tissue

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Potential uses include facial reconstruction for soldiers’ blast injuries

Biomedical engineers at Johns Hopkins have developed a new liquid material that in early experiments in rats and humans shows promise in restoring damaged soft tissue relatively safely and durably. The material, a composite of biological and synthetic molecules, is injected under the skin, then “set” using light to form a more solid structure, like using cold to set gelatin in a mold. The researchers say the product one day could be used to reconstruct soldier’s faces marred by blast injuries.

The Hopkins researchers caution that the material, described in a report in the July 27 issue of Science Translational Medicine, is “promising,” but not yet ready for widespread clinical use. Continue reading