Heart to Heart

A person who has had a myocardial infarction often gets excellent emergency treatment at a hospital, and is able to go home or even return to work in a matter of days. Despite this quick recovery, all is not perfect, because the infarction stops blood and oxygen flow, which can quickly kill heart tissue. Unlike many other types of human tissue, heart tissue doesn’t regenerate, so heart function is compromised.

The State of Nanorobotics in Medicine

From Ant-Man to the Incredible Shrinking Machine, society has long envisioned developing devices tiny enough to enter human cells. Such nanotechnology could revolutionize the diagnosis of diseases like cancer and neurodegeneration, span new methods of precise drug delivery, and even directly repair damaged organs.

Biological Pacemakers: Still a Dream?

A biological pacemaker is one or more types of cellular components that, when implanted into certain regions of the heart, produce electrical stimuli that mimic that of the body’s natural pacemaker cells. Somatic gene transfer, cell fusion, or cell transplantation provide a way to realize it as somatic reprogramming strategies, which involve transfer of genes encoding transcription factors to transform working myocardium into a surrogate sinoatrial node, are furthest along in the possibilities.

Robotic Pets: A Senior’s Best Friend?

We are in the midst of a demographic phenomenon known as the graying of society. In more affluent countries, the population is aging. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to more than double by 2060.