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April 20, 2014

Tissue engineered vagina's function normally over eight years

Researchers from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem and the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City biopsied cells from the women and were able to use a biodegradable scaffolds to then build the vagina in the lab. The organs were then implanted in each patient.

A woman with MRKH will often not develop a uterus or a full vagina, though external genitalia is unaffected by the disorder, which often means the syndrome is not diagnosed until the patient is in her late teens. Before the study, patients were limited to surgical options to recreate that vaginal canal. The disorder affects approximately one in 4,500 female births, according to the National Institutes of Health. Therefore the condition effects over 500,000 women. There were about 131 million births in 2013. Therefore about 14400 births had this condition.

A research team led by Anthony Atala, M.D., director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, describes in the Lancet long-term success in four teenage girls who received vaginal organs that were engineered with their own cells.

“This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans,” said Atala. “This may represent a new option for patients who require vaginal reconstructive surgeries. In addition, this study is one more example of how regenerative medicine strategies can be applied to a variety of tissues and organs.”

New Technology Generates Lab-Grown Organs

In the eight years after the original operation, researchers found that the subjects reported normal sexual function and that the engineered organs remained structurally and functionally normal.

The Lancet - Tissue-engineered autologous vaginal organs in patients: a pilot cohort study

China will have over 88 gigawatts of nuclear power by 2020 according to head of China Nuclear Energy Association

China's nuclear power installed capacity, including that in operation and under construction, is predicted to top 88 gigawatts by 2020, said Zhang Huazhu, head of the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA), a national industry organization.

Nuclear power will play a bigger role in improving the country's energy structure, coping with climate change and controlling air pollution.

China's estimate for nuclear power in 2020 was about 40 Gigawatts back in 2007 and then it increased to about 80-100 GW before Fukushima. Estimates went down to about 50-55 GW but estimates for nuclear power in China by 2020 have been increasing again. There was a pause in new nuclear reactors that were approved. However, construction continued mainly uninterrupted. Prior to 2008, the government had planned to increase nuclear generating capacity to 40 GWe by 2020 (out of a total 1000 GWe planned), with a further 18 GWe nuclear being under construction then. However, projections for nuclear power then increased to 110 GWe by 2020, 200-350 GWe by 2030 and 500+ GWe by 2050. Following the Fukushima accident and consequent pause in approvals for new plants, the target adopted by the State Council in October 2012 became 60 GWe by 2020, with 30 GWe under construction.

China now has a politically and economically problem with massive air pollution. China will have mostly built out all of the hydro power that they have available early in the 2020s. Nuclear power is a primary air pollution free power source that China can scale out.

If China heads to 300 GWe of nuclear power by 2030 this would generate about 2400 TWh of electricity.

Three more mini-Plutos found and six others are being tracked out of thousands of dwarf planets that are expected

Last week astronomers reported the discovery of 2012 VP113 – nicknamed "Joe Biden" after the vice president, or VP, of the US. This potential dwarf planet was spotted on the outer fringes of the solar system, in a region called the inner Oort cloud. Days later, the same team reported two more potential dwarfs, known as 2013 FY27 and 2013 FZ27.

Both of these objects are in the Kuiper belt, a grouping of relatively small bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune that is also home to Pluto and three other known dwarf planets. Astronomers suspect the Kuiper belt is littered with dwarfs, but many either reflect too little light or are too distant to have been visible in previous sky surveys.

Nextbigfuture previously covered the discovery of VP113 (Biden dwarf planet)

Nature - At 450 kilometres across, 2012 VP113 is about half the size of Sedna. If, as scientists expect, it is made mostly of ice, then its gravity probably pulls it into a spherical shape. This would qualify it as a dwarf planet under the revised rules of planethood drawn up by the IAU in 2006.

FZ27 sits 50 astronomical units away from the sun, on the far edge of the Kuiper belt (1 AU is Earth's distance from the sun). At about 600 kilometers wide [this would be larger than Palles the second largest asteroid], the object is probably massive enough for it to have become nearly round under its own gravity – one of the criteria for being classified as a dwarf planet. The other recently discovered object, FY27, is probably about 1000 kilometers [this would be larger than Ceres the largest Asteroid] across and was found roughly 80 AU from the sun.

This list of dwarf planets out in the Kuiper and inner Oort cloud is now outdated

Carnival of Space 350

The Carnival of Space 350 is up at Cosmoquest

Universe Today - A new visualization of data from a nuclear weapons warning network, to be unveiled by B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu during the evening event at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, shows that ”the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck.”

Universe Today - Could life thrive in the devastated rock left behind after a meteorite impact? A new study hints that possibly, that could be the case. Researchers discovered what they think are geological records of biological activity inside of Nördlinger Ries, a crater in Germany that is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) wide.

Various Number One Box Office Movie in the Country did have uploading of consciousness and AGI

Transcendence bombed with just $4.82 million. That's a bit lower than Source Code, and about on par with decade-old sci-fi disasters Stealth ($4.8 million) and The Island ($4.2 million). It's also a fraction of other recent Depp movies like Dark Shadows and The Lone Ranger ($9.7 million each). For the weekend, it could earn less than $12 million.

Based upon the trailers, Transcendence is about Johnny Depps character uploading himself.

Spoiler Alert

There is use of uploading in the lot of successful movies.

April 19, 2014

Embryo clones produced from cells of human adults

Scientists for the first time have cloned cells from two adults to create early-stage embryos, and then derived tissue from those embryos that perfectly matched the DNA of the donors.

The experiment represents another advance in the quest to make tissue in the laboratory that could treat a range of maladies, from heart attacks to Alzheimer's. The study, involving a 35-year-old man and one age 75, was published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Cell Stem Cell - Human Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Using Adult Cells

•Adult cell reprogramming via SCNT is not successful via the conventional protocol
•Improved success was achieved with a recently developed approach
•hESCs were derived via SCNT from 35- and 75-year-old males

Summary

Derivation of patient-specific human pluripotent stem cells via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has the potential for applications in a range of therapeutic contexts. However, successful SCNT with human cells has proved challenging to achieve, and thus far has only been reported with fetal or infant somatic cells. In this study, we describe the application of a recently developed methodology for the generation of human ESCs via SCNT using dermal fibroblasts from 35- and 75-year-old males. Our study therefore demonstrates the applicability of SCNT for adult human cells and supports further investigation of SCNT as a strategy for regenerative medicine.


Finding life in the outer solar system by pitlamping

Physicist Freeman Dyson suggests that we start looking for life on the moons of Jupiter and out past Neptune, in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. He talks about what such life would be like -- and how we might find it.

On the topic of Europa, Freeman believes we could find life there except for the expenses. It would be to hard to burrow through the ice and find out if there are things swimming around down there. He believes that if there is life down there that it would eventually move to the surface. The surface is a vacuum. There is no atmosphere, but being aquatic on that moon this would not be a problem for them. Freeman noted that this is not all likely, but possible and his philosophy is “look for whats detectable not for whats probable.”

Freeman also mentions a way of finding life in these systems. There is a term called pit-lamping that refers to using a spotlight at night to kill an animal. The light is reflected by the lenses in the animals eyes and they shoot it. Mr. Dyson believes this technique of hunting can be used to hunt for life in space. He believes that if life lives further away from the sun the reflectors in its eyes must be more powerful making it even easier to see than on earth.

Now in the Kuiper belt he believes there will be widespread life. The plants will be broken up and grown together in huge fields in space. Since the gravity is low they will be extremely wide spread. He says that even if we don’t find these things and they don’t exist at all, we can put them there and basically create our own masterpiece on the canvas of the universe.

If we don't find them is to make them ourselves. Design life to live on Europa and in the outer solar system.