Friday, October 14, 2005

Artificial Arteries, Spare Parts For The Spine
If you are ever tempted to think that the world is going to hell in handbasket (or in my case in ham biscuit), keep in mind that brilliant people are doing brilliant things every day that will make our lives better as we age or for those who are afflicted. Today's case in point is the development of synthetic resilin. Here's a snip from the article to give you an idea of what this means for us:
Chris Elvin, from CSIRO Livestock Industries in Brisbane, spent four years reproducing nature's "near perfect rubber". Dr Elvin said yesterday: "Nature had a couple of hundred million years of evolution do it. All insects have it. It gives them almost frictionless movement.
"Fleas have a pad of it in their legs. They squeeze and compress it, storing energy in it." When they want to jump "they release all that energy in a millisecond".
If humans had such pads they could leap 100-storey buildings.
Here's a link to the article from CSIRO itself.
Speaking as one whose joints are afflicted by age and wear, this is just fantastic news. If you've got bad knees, think how they could restored by pads of resilin where the cartilage has been worn away. Not only would you not have the pain of bone-on-bone but your knees would be even more resilient than they were when they had "mere" cartilage pads.

I'm quite sure that there are a huge number of bio-mechanical applications for this that I can't even imagine. It gives me great hope for the future. Scientists, even those yobbos down in Oz, are learning how nature has given its tiniest creatures the capabilities to do amazing things. And it will benefit all mankind.
I look forward to the day I can report a breakthrough of this nature for those who suffer from Interstitial Cystitis.
On the other hand, it's not like this hasn't been thought of back in the 60s....

No comments: